Do you need a reckless driving attorney in Culpeper County or Orange County?
Before you answer that question, you need to understand what a Virginia reckless driving ticket is:
- It is a criminal offense
- It carries a maximum fine of $2,500.
- It carries a maximum prison sentence of 6 months.
- He carries a maximum suspension of his license of 6 months in Virginia.
- Six points on your license
The question that remains is what is reckless driving in Virginia?
Any driving behavior that endangers life, limb, or property is reckless driving. There are 14 types of these crimes in the state of Virginia. The most common types of these offenses are reckless speeding (VA 46.2-862), failure to maintain control of a vehicle (VA 46.2-853), and general reckless driving (VA 46.2-852). Reckless speeding occurs when you drive more than 80 miles regardless of the posted speed limit or if you drive more than 20 miles over the posted speed limit. Reckless driving in general is really any type of driving behavior that endangers life, limb, or property.
The following are some of the other types of Virginia reckless driving violations:
Passing a stopped school bus, dragging races, etc.
Reckless Driving Charged between 10 and 200 times a month in each county in Virginia. In smaller counties, like Orange County or Culpeper County, reckless driving tickets are processed at least 50 times a month. The size of the county and the traffic that passes through the county determines how many cases are processed each month. Also, more often than not, you see state drivers prosecuted for reckless driving in counties like Culpeper and Orange.
We tell clients all the time that while being charged with reckless driving is not unusual, it is a traffic offense and should be taken seriously. This is a class 1 misdemeanor.
Note to client:domestic violence and DUI are also Class 1 misdemeanors. This should tell you how serious this traffic offense is in Virginia.
what does this mean to you? Don’t wait until the last minute to hire a Virginia reckless driving attorney. This is not something you can pay and forget about. If you don’t hire an experienced traffic ticket attorney, you can end up with massive fines, a suspended license, and even jail time.
Additionally, a criminal conviction for reckless driving can result in collateral consequences, such as losing your security clearance or hindering your ability to change your immigration status. If you are a driver, doctor, or law enforcement officer, a conviction for this type of traffic ticket can even result in loss of your job, loss of certain benefits, or housing rights. In some cases, it can even affect your ability to find a job.
How do you know if you have been charged with reckless driving by looking at your ticket?
Look at the “charges” or “legal section” of the ticket. If you list the codes between § 46.2-852 and § 46.2-869, or if you see the letters “RD”, the ticket is for reckless driving.
If an officer pulled you over for speeding, be sure to take note of the speed listed on the ticket. If you are more than 20 miles over the speed limit, or more than 80 mph total, the ticket most likely has been issued a Virginia uniform citation for reckless driving. A Virginia Uniform Summons is just a fancy way of saying traffic tickets.
In counties like Fairfax, Orange, Culpeper, Stafford, Hanover, Henrico, and Chesterfield, an officer can cross out the prepaid information on the ticket to make sure you know you have to go to court. However, this is not true everywhere in Virginia.
What are the consequences for reckless driving in Virginia?
If you are convicted of reckless driving in Virginia, there are one or more severe penalties you will face:
The most basic consequences a first time offender will face are fines, a fine, 6 points on their license and can be a suspension of their license for up to 6 months.
Note to Customer: This assumes you were not speeding more than 25 miles over the posted speed limit or exceeding 87 miles per hour. In jurisdictions such as Fairfax County, Orange County, and Culpeper County, to name a few, if you are over 25 miles over the posted speed limit or 87 miles per hour, you should seriously consider getting a reckless driving attorney. of Virginia for help.
What is considered a substantial fine for first-time reckless driving offenders?
If you are convicted of reckless driving on a Virginia uniform citation, the fine will range from approximately $350 to $500 plus court costs.
If you are a repeat offender, then you could end up paying the maximum fine of $2,500.
How many points on your license and how long is the license suspension?
Any Virginia court that finds you guilty of reckless driving will forward your conviction to the Virginia DMV and the DMV will place six demerit points on your license. These points will normally remain on your license for six years.
Note to Client: A reckless driving conviction will remain on your driving record for 11 years.
If you receive a certain number of points within a year, the DMV will automatically suspend or revoke your license.
For example, if a reckless driving conviction earns you more than eight points in one year, or twelve points in two years, you will lose your license.
Even if your conviction does not result in you violating the DMV point limit, a judge can still decide to suspend your license for up to six months anyway. In counties like Fairfax, Orange, Culpeper, Stafford, Hanover, Henrico, and Chesterfield, judges don’t hesitate to suspend your license for a period of time.
How long do you go to jail for reckless driving?
In addition to the above penalties, you can face up to a year in jail for a reckless driving conviction. However, most first-time offenders can avoid jail time by performing community service.
Judges will generally assign jail time to repeat offenders, runners, and those going over 95 mph. As with license suspension.
Collateral Consequences of a Reckless Driving Charge
Collateral consequences are additional penalties you may face as a result of being convicted of reckless driving in Virginia.
If you have a security clearance, you should be extremely concerned about the Virginia Uniform Citation for reckless driving. Why Because it is a crime, it can often show up on background checks, which can affect your ability to maintain your security clearance.
If you are a driver, a reckless driving conviction will get you grounded for a period of time.
If you are a doctor, then a reckless driving conviction will result in the AMA being notified about it.
If you are a peace officer, your command will be notified of your reckless driving conviction.
You should talk to your attorney about any and all collateral consequences of a reckless driving conviction before your trial date.
In Virginia, most of the above penalties apply equally to in-state and out-of-state drivers. Even if you live in another state, you may still need to appear at the Virginia court listed on your ticket on your assigned day.
Another collateral consequence that applies to out-of-state drivers is the action your state will take against you on top of the pound of meat Virginia has already taken from you. You may be wondering why your state might get involved?
This is because most states subscribe to the Interstate Driver’s License Agreement. Basically, this agreement says that a state can treat a criminal traffic charge from another state as if it occurred in its own jurisdiction.
In other words, if you are an out-of-state driver, your home state will penalize your license based on its own reckless driving laws, not Virginia’s. This is particularly relevant to North Carolina residents, who may face an immediate 30-day license suspension.
What should you do if you get a reckless driving ticket in Virginia?
The honest answer is to at least talk to a Virginia reckless driving attorney. An experienced attorney can tell you what he is most likely to face in court and whether he really needs to hire an attorney.
Counties like Fairfax, Orange, Culpeper, Stafford, Hanover, Henrico, and Chesterfield are some of the counties where you are more likely to be better off with an attorney than without one. Why do I say that? The reason is that these counties are extremely tough on reckless driving tickets. Call our firm at 888-437-7747 for help today. C