RECKLESS DRIVING – VA DEFENSE
Charged With Reckless Driving in VA?
Reckless Driving Defense From Our Client Meeting Locations in Fairfax, Lynchburg, Manassas, Loudoun, Fredericksburg, Richmond & Virginia Beach
The following is a discussion of some of the different ways a person who is driving in Virginia may be given a reckless driving ticket in VA. If the following scenarios seem all too familiar, take comfort in the fact that you are not the only person to ever have received a Virginia reckless driving ticket. Drivers all throughout Virginia are frequently given tickets for reckless driving in Virginia.
This isn’t a trivial offense. A Virginia reckless driving charge is a very serious moving violation. In fact, it is a class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. You ask what a class one misdemeanor is. A Virginia class 1 misdemeanor is the highest level of misdemeanor criminal act a person can be convicted of in Virginia. The maximum statutory penalty for a Virginia class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia is up to twelve (12) months in jail, and or up to a $2500 fine. There are even more potential headaches of being convicted of a reckless driving charge in Virginia. You could lose your license for up to six months, lose your job because you were convicted of reckless driving or even lose your security clearance. You can be charged and convicted of reckless driving, even on federal property such as the George Washington Parkway commonly referred to as the GW Parkway, the military bases such as Fort Belvoir, Quantico Marine Base, federal parks, etc.
It can happen in a mere instant. Most people who are charged with reckless driving in Virginia are amazed how easily they can be charged with this offense. Perhaps you’re distracted and you are simply not paying attention to your speed. Next thing you know, you are being charged with reckless driving for traveling in excess of twenty (20) miles over the speed limit (VA Reckless Driving 46.2-862).
Who doesn’t recall going out for a drive on a beautiful sunny day with not many cars on a clear stretch of road and mistakenly traveling in excess of eighty (80) miles per hour? Suddenly you hear the sound of a siren behind you and realize you are being told to pull over. You pull over to the shoulder and the trooper walks up to your car and asks you “Do you know how fast you were going?” If you are like most people, you know you might have gone a little too fast, but you are not sure of your exact speed. Unfortunately, the police officer has clocked your speed by lidar or radar. You tell him you are sorry and ask if he could cut you a break this time. The trooper does not respond to your plea and writes you a Virginia uniform summons for driving in excess of 80 miles per hour regardless of the posted speed limit. You realize as you sign for your Virginia reckless driving ticket, you just received a ticket for reckless driving in violation of VA Reckless Driving 46.2-862. As you sit on the side of the road and look at the ticket, you realize the day is not so beautiful anymore and you now have to go to court. You cannot prepay this ticket.
Your mind is elsewhere and you inadvertently move into another car’s lane of travel causing that driver to swerve. Next thing you know, you are being pulled over for reckless driving. The state trooper charges you with violation of VA Reckless Driving Code Section 46.2-852. This violation is the catchall version of reckless driving in Virginia.
On a side road & about to get on a busy highway – you didn’t bring your car to a full stop before entering the freeway. This is a violation of the VA Reckless Driving 46.2-863.
You are in a rush to work and you pass a stopped school bus loading some children. Next thing you know, you are being stopped for passing a stopped school bus and receive a Virginia citation for reckless driving in violation of 46.2-859. You know that you are good person and that you would never intentionally pass a stopped school bus. You even have children of your own. The bad news is the police officer doesn’t care whether you are good person or not or whether you have children of your own. Neither does the judge. The bottom line is as far as the court, the cop and the prosecutor are concerned, you broke the law in Virginia regarding reckless driving.
Can you imagine being charged with reckless driving in Virginia simply because the police officer observed you spinning your wheels before you entered the main road? You know you did not intentionally spin your wheels. Why should you be blamed for the fact that the road was wet? Unfortunately, spinning your wheels before entering a main road is a potential violation of a reckless driving law in Virginia.
Remember doing doughnuts in an empty parking lot and having a police officer coming by and at worst telling you to get out of there. Unfortunately today, juveniles don’t have it so lucky and they will probably get charged with reckless driving in Virginia. For that matter, even an adult can receive a Virginia uniform summons for reckless driving in violation of VA Reckless Driving 46.2-864 for driving in a reckless manner in a parking lot, if the officer believes that the driver endangered life, limb or property.
Recently, police officers have been charging a lot of young drivers with racing. Racing in Virginia is a form of reckless driving (VA Reckless Driving 46.2-865), which carries even more serious consequences and penalties than reckless driving by speed (46.2-862). VA Reckless Driving 46.2-865 states the following shall occur in regards to the enhanced penalties if a person is convicted of racing: When any person is convicted of reckless driving for racing, in addition to any other penalties provided by law the driver’s license of such person shall be suspended by the court for a period of not less than six months nor more than two years. In case of conviction the court shall order the surrender of the license to the court where it shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of § 46.2-398.
In Virginia, you can even be charged with reckless driving if the prosecutor can prove that you had faulty or defective brakes and this resulted in the driver not being able to maintain proper control. (VA Reckless Driving 46.2-853)
Simply driving too fast (highly subjective standard) for traffic conditions can result in being charged with reckless driving in Virginia in violation VA Reckless Driving 46.2-861.
Turn without giving the proper signal and you can be charged with reckless driving in Virginia. That means you make a left hand turn and fail to turn on your left turn blinker and lo and behold you may be charged with reckless driving in violation of VA Reckless Driving 46.2-860.
Please keep in mind, that if you are stopped by the police, each and every one of these situations can bring a charge of reckless driving in Virginia.
And according to the law, causing actual harm or damage isn’t necessary – it’s the driving behavior that counts.
Straightforward Legal Advice from a SRIS, P.C. lawyer who defends reckless driving.
If you’ve been charged with reckless driving in Virginia, we urge you to seek legal representation. At SRIS, P.C. our experienced VA reckless driving defense attorneys will give you a realistic picture of what you may face in court. We’ll be honest and upfront with you, spelling out the implications of having the case plea bargained vs. taking the matter to trial.
We will discuss some, if not all of the following issues regarding your case:
your driving record and the impact it can have on the disposition of your case.
how old or new your car is and whether you may have speedometer calibration issues,
whether you encountered a situation that was an emergency and therefore you acted instinctively
the marking on the school bus and whether the marking on the school bus meets the criteria stated in the Code
what the weather conditions were at the time of the alleged offense
whether there was some kind of physical barrier that obstructed your view of the school bus
whether the accident was actually a result of reckless driving
how did the officer measure your speed: radar, pace, lidar
can the officer prove that his equipment was properly calibrated per the code
whether you knew that your brakes were faulty or your speedometer was not working properly prior to being charged, etc.
The VA attorneys of the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. who defend reckless driving have been very successful in negotiating plea bargains on behalf of our clients charged with reckless driving in Virginia, if we determine that the client interest’s would be best served by plea bargaining vs. taking the case to trial. However, the client is the only one who can determine what is best for them and we always defer to our clients regarding plea bargaining vs. trial.
Need to consult with one of our VA reckless driving lawyers? Please don’t hesitate to call us at (888) 437 7747, or by email or via our on line form .
In Virginia, our client meeting locations in Northern Virginia are located in Fairfax & Manassas (703) 278-0405. In Central Virginia , our client meeting locations are in Fredericksburg & Richmond (804) 201-9009 & in the Hampton Roads/Tidewater area , our client meeting locations is in Virginia Beach (757) 512-5002. Our office that serves the clients of Southwest Virginia, Shenandoah Valley, parts of Southern Piedmont & Central Virginia is our Lynchburg client meeting location. It is centrally located to better serve the clients in the western part of Virginia.
Our VA reckless driving defense lawyers and staff in Virginia, speak the following languages in addition to English: Tamil, Arabic, Spanish, Hindi, Telugu, Cantonese, Mandarin, Malaysian & French.
These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.