Every time you are arraigned in court to face reckless driving charges, you are staring at a potential jail term. Therefore, every time you find yourself in these circumstances, you need to consider hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Whether this is the first time you have been charged with reckless driving or you have faced these charges before, a reckless driving lawyer, like the competent ones at Joyner PLLC law firm, can be your legal representatives. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure you obtain a positive outcome in your case, based on the prevailing circumstances. Our main goal is to secure a dismissal of the charges, meaning you won’t have to worry about the consequences anymore in your life. If a dismissal is not possible, then we will pursue a reduction of the charges, to ensure the penalties are less stringent, with minimal consequences on your life. We will also explore other strategies to look for a positive resolution. Most people charged with reckless driving in Stafford County, Virginia, don’t have an idea that they are facing criminal charges. They assume that the charges will be dismissed with a simple fine, and they can resume their normal schedule. However, that is not the case in Virginia. A reckless driving conviction comes with heavy fines, loss of driving privileges, and a potential jail term. But we are here for you. Our Stafford County VA reckless driving lawyers will ensure the correct application of the law while protecting your constitutional rights. We will be your advocates throughout the process when everything else seems against you.
Reckless Driving in Stafford County
In Stafford County, VA, reckless driving is defined as driving in a manner that endangers life, limb or property. There are approximately 14 driving behaviors, which are considered as reckless driving in Virginia. They include drag racing, weaving in and out of traffic, failing to signal properly when slowing, stopping or turning and failing to yield to an emergency vehicle. Others include passing a stopped school bus with flashing lights, driving too fast for conditions, driving with an obstructed view, driving with faulty brakes or vehicle not in control, and speeding among others. Speeding is the most common form of reckless driving in Stafford County. Most people tend to confuse reckless driving and general speeding. Although they are two speeding offenses, reckless driving comes with severe penalties. Reckless driving by speed is driving at 20 mph over the posted speed limit or 80 mph regardless of the posted speed limit. Once you are arrested while driving at those speeds, you will not receive a normal speeding ticket. Instead, you will be charged with reckless driving. You might be rushing to attend to an emergency, getting late for work or even flowing with the traffic. However, the law is clear when it comes to speeding violations. If you are not sure whether you are facing a normal traffic ticket or a reckless driving charge, contact our reckless driving attorneys, and we will explain the situation.
Penalties for Reckless Driving
Unlike other traffic violations, reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense. It is in the same category as DUI and possession of marijuana, among others. The penalties for reckless driving include suspended a driving license, heavy fines, potential jail term and a permanent criminal record. The amount of penalty applied depends on the presiding judge as well as prior convictions. Here is a breakdown of the penalties in detail.
- Jail Term
Unlike a speeding ticket where you will probably get away with a simple fine, a reckless driving charge is a serious affair. If you are unfortunate to be convicted, then you might end up in jail. The good news is that most first time offenders are not sentenced to jail. Other judges may put you in jail for a day or two. However, if you have a history of reckless driving charges, then there is a high possibility that you will spend a considerable amount of time behind bars. The jail term for reckless driving charges is usually six months. But if your reckless driving resulted in the death of another person, then you will instead face Class 6 felony charges. A conviction on a felony charge can put you in jail for at least 5 years. That’s why it is important to hire experienced Stafford County VA reckless driving lawyers to represent you in court. Doing that gives you a better chance of fighting these charges.
- Suspended Driver’s License
A conviction due to reckless driving can also lead to suspension of driving privileges. Reckless driving is both a traffic violation and a criminal offense. Therefore, if you are found guilty, then you are automatically considered as a danger to other road users. The court may therefore choose to suspend your driving license, in a bid to protect the other road users. The maximum suspension duration is six months. The court has the discretion to decide the amount of time to suspend your license. If you have never been charged with reckless driving charges before, then the suspension may be a few days or weeks. However, those with a history of these convictions may receive the maximum suspension penalty. Suspension or loss of driving privileges can have severe ramifications, on those who use their vehicles daily. If you are a commercial driver, then you will not be able to use your CDL, once your normal license has been suspended, which can lead to loss of employment or wages. It is therefore, in your best interests to do whatever you can, to fight these charges.
As a misdemeanor offense, reckless driving carries a fine of up to $2,500. The actual amount usually depends on various factors. For example, if it was reckless driving by speed, then the judge might use the mph exceeded to determine the amount of fine to apply. Also, your driving history, as well as prior reckless driving convictions, also play a significant role, in determining the actual amount of the fine. Every case has its own merits and facts. Don’t rely too much on other cases to speculate on the outcome.
- Other Consequences
Apart from the possibility of spending time in jail, fines, and suspension of driving privileges, a reckless driving conviction also comes with a criminal record. Such a permanent criminal record may jeopardize your future opportunities in education and employment. In most cases, it was a matter of distraction or a lapse in concentration, and you ended up causing an accident. Maybe you have never been in that situation before. However, with the strict traffic laws in Virginia, you will not escape a criminal record. The truth is, not many employers would want to hire someone with a criminal tag. Educational institutions may also be wary in accepting your applications, once your criminal record comes up. Furthermore, insurance companies might also increase your premiums, owing to these criminal charges. You might even have to pay double your current policy, just to obtain insurance coverage. Therefore, a reckless driving charge is not something you can ignore. You need to use all the resources available at your disposal, including hiring the best attorneys in Virginia, to help you fight these charges. At Joyner PLLC, we are ready to defend you in court and fight your reckless driving charges. We are committed to a positive resolution in your case.
Experienced Reckless Driving Lawyers
For most people, being pulled over by police is more of an inconvenience than anything else. They expect a simple traffic ticket, which they can pre-pay and proceed with their journey. Within a few days, they will have forgotten about the matter. However, a reckless driving charge is a different case altogether. Apart from the fine and potential jail term, a reckless driving conviction comes with a permanent criminal record, which can jeopardize your opportunities in education, employment, housing and securing loans. Our accomplished attorneys understand these damaging consequences. We have both the resources, as well as the legal knowledge and expertise to help anyone fight these criminal charges. We usually pursue an acquittal, a dismissal or a reduction of the charges. If your case eventually goes to trial, then we have the litigation experience to see it through the process. We know exactly what we need to do, to secure a positive outcome. While we can’t promise results in the case, we will work tirelessly throughout the trial process to ensure the results of the case will have as minimal consequences as possible on your life. We represent Stafford County residents facing serious traffic violations. While some of those violations may seem minimal, the state law has made it very clear that any form of aggressive driving jeopardizes public safety. The line between a normal traffic violation and reckless driving is quite thin. You may be thinking that you will receive a simple traffic ticket, only to end up with reckless driving charges. It is, therefore, a smart move to contact our reckless driving attorneys, anytime you have received a ticket. We will evaluate the ticket and then determine whether it’s a normal traffic violation or a reckless driving charge. We will then advise you accordingly, on the most appropriate course of action to pursue. At Joyner PLLC law firm, we offer a free initial consultation. During that meeting, you can ask any questions that you might have regarding your case. If you have never faced criminal charges before, even the environment itself can be intimidating. Furthermore, owing to the seriousness of reckless driving charges, the aggressive judicial process is always pursuing a conviction. Without experienced legal representation, it is easy to find yourself behind bars. However, you don’t need to panic. Our competent attorneys are there to make sure you get fair hearing and treatment throughout the process. We will ensure no one infringes on your rights while using all the resources at our disposal to present an aggressive defense. One of the biggest advantages of working with our Stafford County VA reckless driving lawyers is our proven track record when it comes to handling criminal cases. Although we can’t guarantee you similar results, we will use our experience and expertise to obtain the best results we can. If you are an out-of-state driver and you were traveling through Virginia for business or leisure, then you will face the same charges as the residents. As an out-of-state driver, attending the hearings can drain your resources, not mentioning the time spent traveling from your home state to Virginia to attend the trial. However, you don’t have to go through all that. At Joyner PLLC law firm, we represent both residents and non-residents. Considering the strict judicial system in Virginia, you will require a local attorney who understands the local judicial system to represent you. Imagine hiring someone who doesn’t even understand the Virginia traffic code or someone who is not familiar with the territory. Such a lawyer will just waste your money, and will not deliver the level of defense needed to tackle these serious charges. If you are facing reckless driving charges in Virginia, you cannot afford to hire an attorney without a proven success record. Most of the attorneys will just represent you because that is how they earn their livelihood. To them, you are just another case number. However, at Joyner PLLC law firm, we have your best interests at heart. We will represent you the same way we would defend our family and friends. For more information regarding our services and how we can help, reach out to us today.
Contact Us Today
We are accomplished criminal defense attorneys, ready and equipped to tackle even the most complex reckless driving cases. As you might already know, your reckless driving charge is not a simple traffic ticket. Instead, you are fighting something more serious, which could leave you with irreversible consequences in your life, including a permanent criminal record. Therefore, you can leave these charges to chance. You need an aggressive, competent, and experienced reckless driving lawyer, to give yourself a fighting chance. Finding a Stafford County VA reckless driving lawyer is as easy as calling or emailing us. Schedule your appointment with us today and start mitigating the consequences of these serious charges.