Reckless driving charges are not like normal traffic tickets, where you can pre-pay the fine and move on with your life. Instead, they are criminal charges that come with long-lasting consequences if convicted. When you are facing serious charges like these, you will have to appear in court. Due to these serious circumstances, you will need someone by your side, who has your best interests. You could be facing a suspended license, heavy fines, and even a possible jail term. Our Southampton County VA reckless driving lawyers will fight these charges to help minimize the consequences. We will also work tirelessly to secure a positive result in your case, depending on the circumstances. Most of the actions that can lead to reckless driving charges are not intentional or malicious. Therefore, most people are not aware they are breaking the law. In addition, the legal system in Southampton County, Virginia, can be complex. That’s why you will need a seasoned reckless driving attorney, who will explain the charges you are facing and advise you on the most appropriate strategy to pursue. At Joyner Law PLLC, we will investigate every aspect of your case, and work with the prosecutors in the case to try and clear your name. When it comes to reckless driving charges, we understand your future is on the line. Something that appears as simple as failing to signal appropriately can leave you with a permanent criminal record, thus affecting your future opportunities forever. We treat these charges with the seriousness they deserve. We usually pursue an acquittal or dismissal of the charges. However, this is not always possible, owing to the circumstances in the case. When we cannot obtain a dismissal, we will pursue an outcome that has the least consequences on your professional and personal life. Please contact us today for more information.
Reckless Driving in Southampton County
In Southampton County, VA, you can be charged with reckless driving for various traffic violations. Any form of aggressive driving behavior is considered as reckless driving. As much as some actions may not appear aggressive, the law considers them as a danger to other road users. Some of the driving behaviors that can lead to reckless driving charges include failing to signal properly, drag racing, excessive speed, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle, and driving with an obstructed view. Others include reckless driving by accidents, driving a vehicle with faulty brakes, passing a stopped school bus with flashing lights and general reckless driving, among others.
Reckless Driving by Speed
In Virginia, it is easy to find yourself facing criminal charges for speeding offenses. Excessive speeding is one of the violations that amount to reckless driving. Reckless driving by speed means you are driving at 20 mph over the allowed speed limit or 80 mph regardless of the posted speed limit. For example, if the posted speed limit on a road is 40 mph and you are caught speeding at 65 mph, then you will be charged with reckless driving by speed. You should note that you cannot pre-pay a reckless driving by speed ticket. You will have to appear in court and face the charges. If you fail to appear in court on the designated date, then a warrant of arrest can be issued against you, which may increase your charges. The law doesn’t spare out-of-state drivers. If you are an out-of-state driver, then you will also have to appear in a Southampton County, VA court.
General Reckless Driving
General reckless driving is defined as driving in a manner that endangers life, limb or property, regardless of the allowed speed limit. Most drivers face these charges after being involved in an accident. The officer who arrives at the scene of the accident will evaluate the circumstances, then collect evidence, and witness statements. If the information gathered points to you as the cause of the accident, then you will be charged with reckless driving. General reckless driving is open to many opinions and interpretations. However, with the services of a good lawyer, you can fight these charges and obtain a positive outcome, which will have few consequences on your life.
Reckless Driving by Vehicle Not in Control
Driving a vehicle with faulty brakes or failing to maintain control of your vehicle can lead to reckless driving charges. Most people are charged with this offense after an accident. If the accident occurred due to faulty brakes, distraction or loss of concentration on the road, then you will be charged with reckless driving by a vehicle not in control. However, it is not always the intention of the driver to cause an accident. Sometimes you might get distracted while driving, only to realize you are about to hit the vehicle ahead of you. You then apply sudden brakes, and the vehicle loses control. In such a situation, you will still be charged with reckless driving, since your actions might have caused an accident.
Driving a Vehicle with Obstructed View
You can also face reckless driving charges in Virginia for driving a vehicle with an obstructed view. Obstruction can be defined in two main ways. First, the vehicle’s front seat might be filled with passengers to the extent that the driver doesn’t have a proper view of the side or rearview mirrors. Secondly, the vehicle might be loaded with cargo to the extent that the goods are blocking a proper view of the approaching vehicles. In those situations, the police might pull you over, and then charge you with reckless driving. However, the traffic officers must prove that the obstruction can lead to an accident.
Penalties for Reckless Driving
The legal penalties for reckless driving range from fines, loss or suspension of driving privileges, and a jail term. Similar to other Class 1 misdemeanor offense, reckless driving carries a fine of up to $2,500. The actual amount depends on various factors including the court policy, your driving record, as well as speed. Most courts use a rate of $6 for every mph exceeded. Therefore, if you were driving at 20 mph over the posted speed limit, then you will have to pay a fine of approximately $120. You will also have to pay court costs, on top of that fine, which can push the amount slightly higher. A conviction can also lead to license suspension, for at least six months. A license suspension can inconvenience those who rely on their vehicles every day. Also, if you are a commercial driver, then you can easily lose your job, since you will not be able to use your CDL, upon suspension of your normal license. Jail time is another possibility for those convicted of reckless driving. Although it is not a common penalty as compared to fines, you can still end up in jail, depending on the nature of your offense. If you were caught driving at speeds of 95 mph and above, then there are high chances of spending time in jail. There is also the issue of a permanent criminal record that comes with conviction. It is almost impossible to have this record expunged in Southampton County and throughout Virginia. A permanent criminal record will always show up during background checks. Educational institutions and future employers can use this as an excuse to deny you opportunities. Social stigma is another issue. Once you have been convicted, people will always consider you as an irresponsible driver, which can damage your reputation.
Experienced Reckless Driving Attorneys
Our experienced Southampton County VA reckless driving lawyers understand the stress and anxiety that you might be going through. We also understand the huge task ahead. Having handled similar cases before and tried them in the local courts, we can use our experience to mount a strong defense against the charges you are facing. Most people charged with reckless driving assume that it is just like any other traffic infraction. They assume that they will end up with simple fines, which they can pay and continue with their normal lives. However, reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor criminal offense in Virginia. A conviction carries the possibility of spending time in jail, heavy fines and suspension of driving privileges for at least six months. As you can see, reckless driving is a serious offense throughout Virginia. You cannot afford to treat it like a normal traffic ticket. The consequences associated with a conviction are severe. They can ruin your life forever. If you are not sure whether you are facing reckless driving charges or a normal traffic ticket, talk to Southampton County VA reckless driving lawyers today and schedule a free consultation. We will be able to determine the actual charges you are facing and answer any questions you might have related to the case. We offer the free consultation to our clients for various reasons. First, we need you to understand what you are up against before we can proceed with the case. Secondly, we will lay down the strategy that we wish to pursue, to defend these charges. We want to ensure you are comfortable before we begin so that we can establish a healthy and trustworthy relationship, moving forward.
Why Joyner Law PLLC
Our Southampton County VA reckless driving lawyers have the skills and experience required to handle reckless driving charges. We will work tirelessly to defend your rights and ensure you get a fair hearing in court. Whether you are ready to take responsibility for your mistakes or you are innocent of the charges you are facing, we are here to ensure you obtain a favorable outcome, depending on the circumstances. We have tried cases in the courts where yours will be heard. During that time, we have managed to establish a good relationship with the local judges and prosecutors, who will be presiding over your reckless driving charges. While our relationship with the judges and prosecutors may not influence the outcome of the case in any way, knowing your way around the local judicial system comes with many benefits.
When you are facing reckless driving charges for the first time, you may feel anxious and uncomfortable. The court environment may sometimes be intimidating. It doesn’t come as a surprise that some people choose to plead guilty to these charges, mostly due to this intimidating environment. However, with our competent reckless driving attorneys by your side, you don’t have to keep looking over your shoulder. You will be working with a team of legal experts, who have been through this journey numerous times. Apart from giving you peace of mind through the process, our attorneys give you most realistic chance of getting a favorable outcome.
As noted earlier, reckless driving charges are treated as criminal offenses in Virginia. Therefore, whenever you are facing such charges, you need to ensure you hire an experienced and competent lawyer, who gives you the best chance of securing a favorable result in your case. You also want someone you can trust. Our reckless driving attorneys are people you can trust since they have your best interests at heart. Most of the reckless driving attorneys you will find around, are only representing you for the money. Most of these lawyers mostly care about the check and not the consequences of the outcome in your life. At Joyner Law PLLC, our outcome is different. We give each case personalized attention. We are committed to ensuring that you can walk away from this case, with the least consequences on your life.
Contact Us Today
At Joyner Law PLLC, we promise to give you individualized attention that you need. If you have been charged with reckless driving in Southampton County, Virginia, contact us today. It doesn’t matter whether you have been formally charged or not. Whichever the case, it is always a smart move to talk to reckless driving lawyers as soon as possible. Once you do that, we will have enough time to review your case and then come up with a solid defense strategy. Contacting our legal team early gives us more time to go through the evidence, uncover facts associated with the case and build a formidable defense strategy customized to your unique case.