MANASSAS LAWYER WILL DEFEND YOU AGAINST A RECKLESS DRIVING CHARGE
Thousands in Virginia face reckless driving charges every year, and the charge has serious legal ramifications. Virginia’s judges harshly punish motorists who put the public at risk.
Reckless driving – as the state of Virginia defines it – isn’t just a moment of negligence or a minor driving mistake. “Reckless” drivers are drivers who willfully disregard the safety of others.
A reckless driving charge in Virginia can be based solely on speeding. Drivers who exceed a speed limit by twenty miles per hour or more – and any driver who exceeds eighty miles per hour anywhere in the state – may face a reckless driving charge.
But speeding isn’t the only way to be charged with reckless driving. If you operate a vehicle in a way that a law enforcement officer considers reckless – tailgating, not using turn signals, or running traffic lights or stop signs, for example – you could be charged with reckless driving.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU ARE CONVICTED OF RECKLESS DRIVING?
Do not try to be your own attorney – that is never a smart idea. Don’t plead guilty, either. Reckless driving is a criminal offense, and it is not handled like a minor traffic infraction. A guilty plea creates a criminal record and could even send you to jail.
Specifically, reckless driving in Virginia is a Class 1 misdemeanor, and the penalty for a conviction is up to a year in jail and a possible $2,500 fine. You’ll have to deal with a six-month license suspension, and six “demerit” points will be placed on your driving record.
If you drive for a living or if your job requires driving, you’ll probably have to find other work after a conviction for reckless driving. Your auto insurance costs will also go up. What can you do to avoid a conviction? The first step is contacting a Manassas reckless driving defense lawyer.
HOW DO YOU FIGHT RECKLESS DRIVING ALLEGATIONS?
Even if you’re guilty of reckless driving, with a clean driving history, your defense attorney can explain that what happened was an isolated, singular incident. Some of the other defenses against a reckless driving charge include:
- The device that measured your speed wasn’t calibrated properly.
- Your speedometer functioned improperly (but it’s been repaired).
- You were speeding because of a legitimate emergency.
If your speedometer malfunctioned, have it fixed and make a copy of the receipt. Your defense lawyer can offer it as evidence of what actually happened.
CAN EGREGIOUSLY RECKLESS DRIVING BE CHARGED AS A FELONY?
Some reckless driving charges in Virginia are felony charges. For instance, if someone is charged for reckless driving, and if that person’s license was revoked or suspended at the time, reckless driving is charged as a Class 6 felony.
If a fatality is caused by reckless driving, the offender will face a prison term for a felony reckless driving conviction – a term possibly as long as twenty years.
WHAT IS “IMPROPER” DRIVING?
Traffic judges in Virginia have a great deal of discretion. They can lower a charge of “reckless” driving to “improper” driving. Improper driving is an infraction – not a criminal charge – and the maximum penalty for a conviction is a $500 fine.
Improper driving places three points on an offender’s driving record rather than six, and the conviction stays on your record for three years (rather than eleven for reckless driving.)
Reckless driving convictions in Virginia may be appealed, but any appeal has to be filed in the first ten days after the conviction. Again, don’t plead guilty. Pleading guilty to reckless driving disqualifies you from being able to file any appeal. Instead, adhere to your lawyer’s advice.
WHAT WILL YOUR DEFENSE LAWYER DO?
To have a reckless driving charge reduced or dismissed, or to win an appeal, you must be represented by a Manassas reckless driving defense lawyer with substantial traffic law experience – a attorney who regularly defends those accused of reckless driving.
Attorney Scott C. Nolan offers sound legal advice and high-quality services. He’s received a 10.0 “Top Lawyer” ranking from AVVO, the attorney rating service. He handles every case personally and works to bring every reckless driving matter to a just and fair resolution.
He’s a member of the National College for DUI Defense and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He has received extensive training in DUI/DWI breath and blood testing, forensic toxicology, and the administration of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.
PUT SCOTT C. NOLAN’S TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE TO WORK FOR YOU
For two decades, attorney Scott C. Nolan has effectively represented Northern Virginia clients charged with traffic offenses and crimes like DUI and reckless driving as well as more serious crimes. He’s earned referrals and five-star reviews from many of his former clients.
To learn more or to set up a first consultation, call Scott C. Nolan’s law offices or contact him online. If you’re accused of reckless driving or any other crime in the Manassas area, having the right lawyer’s representation and advice is essential.