What is Reckless Driving in Virginia
Reckless Driving is a Class 1 Misdemeanor which carries up to 12 months in jail and/or a $2,500 fine. It is codified in the Virginia Code as such: § 46.2-852. Reckless driving; general rule. Irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving. The other mainly charged Reckless Driving is by Speed. § 46.2-862. Exceeding speed limit. A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.
Do I need representation? Do I need to hire a lawyer?
Maybe. Depending on the court, the judge, prosecutor, your driving record and of course the circumstances of your Reckless Driving (according to the police officer or state trooper) will play a huge role. If your record is clean, and your speed is not very high, you may find leniency and the judge could reduce or drop the charge. Reckless Driving is a serious offense that does carry potential jail time and license suspension. If your record is not very good and your driving behavior and/or speed is high, you should consult with an attorney who is familiar with the court you were charged in, whether it be Fairfax, Newport News or any surrounding jurisdiction. Our consultations are free. It never hurts to pick up the phone and ask what we might be able to do for you.
How can Reckless Driving Conviction affect my life?
Remember, a Reckless Driving conviction in Virginia is a Class 1 Misdemeanor. It is the most serious misdemeanor you can get. If convicted, you will have a criminal record. If you have a criminal record, obtaining government clearances will be difficult, or maybe even impossible. If your job requires you to drive, or you need to drive due to no access to public transportation, you could be fired. Many jobs in government, civil service, or in the field of law enforcement will prohibit you from getting hired. Your social life will be halted as you won’t be able to freely drive to and from places. Your driving privileges can be stripped, and you will have to resort to public transportation or rely on others for rides. Your car insurance rates may go up as well which will hurt you in the long run.
What can I do to prepare for an upcoming Reckless Driving court case?
Sadly, not all Reckless Driving cases can be won through trial. Many of these types of cases are resolved through plea negotiations. Attorney Joseph J. Yoon is an expert negotiators. After talking to us, you will receive guidance and be asked to obtain one or a combination of documents. We will always require a copy of your driving record so we can assess your driving behavior and history. We may ask you to complete a driver improvement course and/or have a speedometer calibration performed on your vehicle. This may help mitigate your “high-speed” or driving behavior that led you to be charged. You can obtain a VA Driving Record either in person at any DMV location or visit www.dmvnow.com to obtain a copy. Similarly, you can find a DMV approved course by visiting https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/drivers/#clinics.asp. Perhaps the most important preparation you can do is talk to an experienced Reckless Driving Lawyer and find out what we can do for you.
I live in another state or cannot take time off from work. Do I have to appear in court?
We have handled many Reckless Driving cases where our clients are not Virginia residents, live far from the court they were charged in or simply cannot take off time from work or will be out of the country. We have a simple General Power of Attorney (POA) form we can send you that will waive your appearance. This means you won’t have to show up in court. The POA will authorize us to appear on your behalf and negotiate and accept a plea agreement. Very simply put, you can lay your burdens on us and we’ll do what we do best and fight for your rights. We’ll do all we can to keep your record clean and keep your license. *We don’t charge extra for this service.
How much will hiring a Reckless Driving lawyer cost?
We pride ourselves on providing excellent legal services at a reasonable fee. Since each case is unique, there is no way to determine legal fees upfront without speaking to you about your case, your driving history and the facts. We take into consideration the complexity of the case, amount of time and preparation required, and the severity of the charge. We are not the cheapest law firm out there, but we certainly aren’t the most expensive. If you are a single parent, a student or serve in our proud United States military, we do waive some of the fee.
I can’t afford to pay all at once or I need a continuance because I cannot appear on the currently scheduled date. May I get a continuance?
Of course. We understand that legal fees can be expensive depending on your budget. We will work with you, and on certain occasions, we will agree to a payment plan or a reduced fee depending on your financial circumstances. If you cannot appear on the currently scheduled court date, we are glad to obtain a continuance for you. Continuing your court date does not hurt your chances nor will it affect the outcome of your case. The court understands that you may not be able to come to court on a certain day (even we are not able to if we are scheduled elsewhere), so obtaining a first time continuance is usually not a problem.