You’re driving on a road in Virginia. It’s a deceptive road because there could be four lanes going in one direction, giving the illusion that it’s a highway. It’s only 35 miles per hour, but you find yourself going 56 mph and getting pulled over. The officer who pulled you over slams you with a reckless driving ticket. And in Virginia, reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor. Yes, a criminal charge that can affect your employment and future.
What Is a Reckless Driving Ticket?
There are many reasons why you could receive a reckless driving ticket. The most common are:
- Driving 20 mph over the posted speed limit
- Driving at a speed that exceeds 80 mph irrespective of the posted speed limit
What Are the Penalties for Reckless Driving?
A reckless driving conviction carries up to $2,500 in fines, up to 12 months in jail, and potential license suspension up to six months. You will also receive six DMV points that remains on your driving record for 11 years.
The ramifications of a reckless driving ticket and conviction can also affect your professional and personal life. For instance, if your job requires you to drive, but you have a suspended license, you could lose your job. If you want to rent a vehicle, you could either be denied or required to pay higher fees, since you are considered a higher risk. Canada and other countries’ customs and borders may also restrict entry to travelers who have misdemeanor convictions. A reckless driving conviction could cause you to be denied at the border if you did not disclose the crime.
How Do I Beat the Charge?
There are several legitimate legal and procedural arguments to challenge the charge.
- Jurisdiction – You could argue that the police does not have jurisdiction because the officer was from the wrong locality. You may also argue that you were not on a “highway;” rather, for example, on private property.
- Driver – Another argument is that you were not the driver. This could be because there was a mistaken identity or your identity may have been stolen.
- Speed Limit – The prosecutor failed to prove the speed limit where you alleged drove recklessly.
- Radar/LIDAR Calibrations – You can also challenge the calibration accuracy of the device used to measure your speed.
How Do I Get It Reduced?
For most people, it may be easier to argue for a reduction of your charge to a civil traffic offense, such as improper driving or a speeding ticket. If your degree is “slight,” then you have a higher chance of having your reckless driving ticket reduced.
Your charge will most likely be reduced to improper driving if your actions were due to carelessness or inattentiveness at a vital moment. For example, let’s say you rear-ended another vehicle. However, you obeyed all other traffic laws, including not speeding. Your charge most likely will be reduced to improper driving. The penalty for improper driving is much less severe. It carries a fine and three DMV points that will remain on your record for three years.
If, however, you received a reckless driving ticket because of your excessive speed, your charge will most likely be reduced to a speeding ticket. A speeding ticket is also less severe, although carries a harsher punishment than improper driving. For a speeding ticket, you will receive a fine and four DMV points that remain on your record for five years.
Speak to a Reckless Driving Attorney
A reckless driving ticket is no joking matter. A reckless driving attorney at The Fisher Law Firm, P.C. can review the facts and circumstances of your case and strategize your best course of action. Call 540-994-7356 today.