Rigid enforcement of traffic laws is an inevitable result of the need for disciplined road habits in Virginia. These regulations are thus a blessing in disguise to each pedestrian and driver who uses the road. If all drivers ensure that they are within the specified limits, everyone is protected from injuries caused by accidents. Reckless driving is not merely a traffic infraction but a class one misdemeanor. An accused charged with reckless driving, should immediately contact an experienced reckless driving lawyer to retain his license and to save him from imprisonment. The Law Offices Of SRIS, P.C. attorneys in VA can provide you the required professional assistance for your reckless driving case in Virginia.
VA Reckless Driving Code
Operating a vehicle in a reckless manner without paying heed to regulations and improperly operating a motor vehicle are popular offenses under Virginia traffic laws. Virginia Code Section 46.2-852 makes operating a vehicle in a reckless manner on a highway resulting in injury punishable by high fines or even jail time. The injury includes not only loss caused to a person’s life and body but also includes damage to property. Whether or not any restricted speed limit was notified does not influence the outcome of the case.
Virginia Code Section 46.2-862 deals with exceeding the mentioned speed cap in Virginia. The officer who initiates the traffic stop has the authority to decide about charging you with reckless driving in Virginia.
If he decides that you should represent your case in court he would impose the charge on you.
Less Commonly Known Reckless Driving Offenses in Virginia
Several other offenses that are punishable as reckless driving by the Virginia law remain less known. These include offenses charged with passing two vehicles abreast, passing at an intersection or railroad grade crossing, passing a stopped school bus, and other such offenses.
Under Section 46.2-855, it is unlawful for a driver to proceed in the car when his view is obstructed. By proceeding to operate when his view is obstructed, the driver is threatening the lives of other individuals on the road, thus he is punishable for reckless driving.
Virginia Code Section 46.2-855 also deals with overloading. To convict an accused of operating an overloaded car, the prosecution should prove that the car is so overloaded that it obstructs the driver’s view.
Under Virginia Code Section 46.2-856, it is unlawful for a driver to pass or attempt to pass two other vehicles abreast. This section is applicable only when the vehicles are moving in the same direction and this provision is inapplicable when the vehicles are on the highways having separate roadways of three or more lanes for each direction of travel, or on designated one-way streets or highways.
Virginia Code Section 46.2-857 makes it unlawful for a driver to operate a car so as to be abreast of another car in a lane specified for one vehicle. Motorcycles, authorized parade vehicles, motorcades, or motorcycle escorts do not come under this restriction. Under Virginia Code Section 46.2-858 one is punishable of reckless driving if he overtakes or passes any other car proceeding in the same direction at any railroad grade crossing or at an intersection of highways.
Passing stopped school buses is punishable as reckless driving. Drivers should always focus on the road as losing focus will result in reckless driving charges. Depressed drivers inadvertently commit reckless driving punishable under Virginia Code Section 46.2-859 by mindlessly passing a stopped school bus. If a Virginia driver fails to give adequate and timely signals of his intention to turn, partly turn, slow down, or stop, then he is punishable for reckless driving under Virginia Code Section 46.2-860.
An experienced driver in Virginia is well acquainted with the road safety laws and maintains the speed necessary for highways and abides by all traffic rules because he is aware that operating too rashly for traffic or weather is punishable under Virginia Code Section 46.2-861.
A driver in Virginia is bound to stop his car before entering a highway from a side road when there is traffic on such highway within 500 feet of the entrance. If a yield right of way sign is posted, a driver has to yield the right of way under Virginia Code Section 46.2-863.
A driver is guilty of racing in Virginia under Section46.2-865 if prosecution successfully proves that the wilful acts of the accused in being engaged in a race with two other vehicles on a highway or in any driveway located in a church, school or any property open to the access of the public without proper permission from the owner.
A driver is guilty of racing in Virginia under Section 46.2-865 if prosecution successfully proves that the wilful acts of the accused in being engaged in a race with two other vehicles on a highway or in any driveway located in a church, school or any property open to the access of the public without proper permission from the owner.
Effect of reckless driving In Virginia
In Virginia, many people who have resided in the state for many years are taken by surprise when they are indicted for reckless driving as they are unaware of what is reckless driving and how it can impact one’s life. Most of Virginia residents are shocked to know that, it is a criminal offense that can lead to jail time, imposing costly fines, and losing the license to operate.
Seriousness Of Reckless Driving In Virginia
Brilliant arguments aggressively submitted are key elements needed to successfully overturn one’s reckless driving conviction in Virginia. There are circumstances when traffic infractions can be paid ahead of time. A person may or may not appear and these infractions have a minor impact on the driver’s record, three, four, or even six points. Though the process of charging an accused with reckless driving is similar to that of a traffic infraction, for a reckless driving charge the accused gets a court date and there is a mandatory requirement to appear for the hearing.
The seriousness of the charge and its impact is known only after the defendant’s appearance in a Virginia Court. So it is important for people who get those tickets to seek immediate help. They may consult an attorney to obtain professional advice about the proceedings. The Law Offices Of SRIS, P.C. attorneys in Fairfax VA will provide you detailed advice on what to expect at a hearing – a trial could take place in which the officer testifies, the defendant testifies, and the judge decides whether a penalty should be imposed based on the officer’s testimony, defendant’s testimony, and all evidence from both sides to arrive at a decision regarding the guilt of the defendant.
Later, fines and costs are imposed. There would be demerit points that could be estimated by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Insurance could enact higher premiums. Finally, if the driver is convicted of reckless driving, he cannot hide it deceitfully as it will appear on his criminal record.
First Time Offenders and Fines for Reckless Driving in Virginia
Virginia residents are eager to know how they will be treated for a first-time reckless driving charge in Virginia.
Information that first-time offenders may be penalized with license suspension, fines, and jail time, will discourage the residents from driving rashly. The penalty varies based on rashness involved.
Being a first-time offender will not protect you from the impact of reckless driving charges so it would be an absurd decision to take your reckless driving charge lightly.
The Penalties for Reckless Driving in Virginia
The penalties that may be imposed on any person convicted for reckless driving in Virginia include the imposition of six (6) DMV points or the imposition of a fine amounting to $2,500 fine or license suspension for six months or imprisonment for· 12 months.
It is important to obtain professional help from a Virginia lawyer who has knowledge about the procedure followed in the local courts. The Law Offices Of SRIS, P.C. attorneys in VA will provide you with the best advice as to how to proceed with the charge.
Fines for reckless driving in Virginia
Reckless driving is a class one misdemeanor that can lead to fines of $2,500 and twelve-month imprisonment. Fines for less serious reckless driving offenses can be anywhere from $300 to $1,000. The amount of fines may differ based on circumstances that lead to the stop and the discretion of the judge. Then court costs are an additional burden on the defendant and these costs maybe $80. Thus, reckless driving will carry a maximum of 6 points. The actual fine you will receive will vary greatly, in part based on your record, the local court procedures, your speed if applicable, and numerous other factors. In many cases, the average fine for a reckless driving ticket is regarded as a regular speeding ticket, which is $6 for every mile per hour over the notified speed limit
But average fines vary drastically from court to court. Cases involving speed under 90 miles per hour, some courts order a fine of $6 for every mile per hour over the speed limit, others will order a fine of $10 and other courts will assess another amount. Virginia law gives you 30 days to pay anything you owe to the court. If you need additional time, you can ask the court for a longer payment deadline.
The fine imposing procedure in Virginia
Other Damages caused by Reckless Driving in Virginia
A Surge in Insurance costs
The effect on Insurance is most notable. As per a survey, if one is held guilty of reckless driving, the judgment will inevitably influence the payment for the insurance premium and may lead to an increase on an average of 21.8%. If the insurance company considers the conviction for multiple years, the expense gets worse. Hiring an attorney costs some money upfront, but avoiding a reckless driving conviction is the priority.
Effect on security clearances in Virginia
Most of the reckless driving offenders n Virginia are bothered by the question as to whether the charge will affect one’s security clearance. The answer to this question depends on the number of charges the seriousness of the charges. If one has a single charge then it may not have adverse consequences for one’s security clearance. If one has a series of traffic-related offenses, then one’s security clearance is sure to be affected. Self reporting of misdemeanor convictions like reckless driving is required if a driver is imposed with fines.
If a court enters an order of imprisonment at the end of a reckless driving case, the data is processed and remains visible during background checks in Virginia.
Effect on employment in Virginia
One’s employment status is altered with one reckless driving case and may result in unemployment. If you have to operate a car for a living or are on company insurance for occasional errands, your supervisor will not want to find out about a reckless driving conviction. Today’s contracts include clauses that allow termination of employees based on their speeding records alone. You could also find out if a reduced outcome, like a speeding conviction, would reduce the risks associated with your employment in Virginia.
Effect on criminal record in Virginia
A criminal record lasts for life. Virginia does not even allow erasing the records later on if the court convicts you.
Reckless Driving Speed in VA
Many clients who are booked for reckless driving rely completely on their operating license for work. Some judges will suspend the driver’s licenses in cases where the driver was operating at twice the speed limit. Like jail time, traveling at speeds over ninety will result in a suspended license depending on the local rules. Drivers with a commercial license in Virginia should be extra cautious as they may lose their commercial license leading to loss of vocation.
Grounds to be proved for a reckless driving conviction:
The attorney representing the State has the task of demonstrating beyond doubt that the accused was operating the vehicle. To a common man proving that one was operating a car may appear to be simple, however, proving that one operated a car is a tough job. It involves other nuances and can be distressing. Impressive arguments from the commonwealth attorney and the defense decide the outcome. The release of the defendant in these cases is dependent on the forceful arguments put forth by the defense counsel. The courts in Virginia have decided cases with very unique issues such as whether a driver who slept on the steering wheel of a car was driving the vehicle. In cases involving reckless driving by speed, the commonwealth has to prove that the defendant was exceeding the speed limit as required by statute at the time of the traffic stop.
Reduction of reckless driving to improper operation of the vehicle in Virginia
If a person is accused of reckless driving in Virginia, appointing an exceptionally skilled lawyer who could offer him professional guidance about the proceedings of the case will decide the outcome of the case. The able assistance of a professionally qualified attorney will guarantee a reduction of the charge to improper operation of the vehicle charge. A reckless driving charge is a criminal offense but the improper operation of vehicle charge merely appears on one’s record in Virginia.
Reckless driving in Virginia and drivers from other states
Virginia is a fantastic spot for family vacations. However, the family holiday will be spoiled if the driver was stopped by the police for reckless driving. Drivers from other states are not accurately informed of the harshness of reckless driving. In other states, reckless driving results in a traffic ticket. Drivers from other states may be ignorant of the peculiar law in Virginia and may be operating the vehicle in violation of the restricted limits that will ultimately result in reckless driving. These drivers, after an informative conversation with the detective, are shocked to know that reckless driving in Virginia does not end in an ordinary ticket but results in the conviction for a crime. In Virginia law, sections relating to reckless driving do not focus solely on operating rashly, there are other traffic violations described in a number of other statutes. Traffic violations like passing a standing school bus, passing two vehicles abreast, operating a car with an obstructed view, recklessly operating an overloaded car, racing, operating a vehicle with poor brakes, spinning wheels are all punishable as reckless driving.