Fairfax County is no different than other counties in Virginia when it comes to reckless driving offenses. The majority of reckless driving charges are due to drivers going over the speed limit. Reckless driving is a serious charge that many drivers do not truly understand. This is one of the reasons why it is important to retain the services of a Fairfax reckless driving lawyer who has experience handling reckless driving cases. After all, most drivers would not want their future driving record to be hampered by a serious reckless driving charge.
A reckless driving charge is when you drive your vehicle in excess of 20 mph over whatever speed zone sign is posted. If you drive your vehicle over 80 mph, you will also receive a reckless driving charge no matter what the posted speed limit is. A reckless driving charge is not only restricted to excessive speeding but it can also be given to anyone who is not driving safely when there are hazardous conditions such as snow, heavy rain, or fog.
How Do You Know if You’ve Been Charged with Reckless Driving in Virginia?
A driver who has been charged for reckless driving will receive a summons for reckless driving. The arresting officer will indicate on the summons exactly what the charges involve. The summons will also specify the alleged violation specified under the Virginia Highway Code. The summons will indicate whether the violation was excessive speeding or other types of reckless driving.
If you receive this type of summons it is important not to prepay the penalty amount. The reason for this is because it would indicate that you are pleading guilty. A guilty charge for reckless driving is a Class I misdemeanor and it will result in a criminal offense charge. This means that you will be guilty as charged without even questioning any of the evidence.
Rather than pay the fine it is better to at least appear in court and challenge the charge. What is even better than that is to retain the services of a qualified Fairfax attorney who is familiar with this type of a criminal case. Retaining the services of a criminal lawyer is your best opportunity to completely avoid having a reckless driving record.
What Should You Expect if You Have Been Charged with a Fairfax Reckless Driving Charge?
The result of your case will depend on many factors including the arresting officer’s statement and the judge who will be ruling over the case. Once again, a qualified lawyer will be able to provide you with all of the legal options available. Sometimes, the lawyer is able to have your reckless driving charged reduced from a criminal offense to a lesser charge. A lawyer will know exactly how to handle any important evidence that could reduce or eliminate the charge completely.
How Will the Prosecutor Handle a Reckless Driving Virginia Charge?
There are times when a prosecutor will try the case before a judge and then there are other times where the judge will decide the case on his own. Having a lawyer present is beneficial because he will be familiar with how either the prosecutor or the presiding judge generally rules in such cases.
What Are the Penalties for A Virginia Reckless Driving Ticket?
Most reckless driving charges allow the guilty party to pay the fine ahead of time. This may be especially tempting for anyone who is an out-of-state driver. Once again, this is not advisable because it is admitting to a serious Class I misdemeanor. Since a Class I misdemeanor is a criminal offense it means that you could be affected in the future for certain jobs, passports, or other important issues.
A reckless driving, Class I misdemeanor charge, can result in a $2500 fine and up to 12 months in jail. On the other hand, a simple speeding ticket is a non-criminal offense and results in a much smaller fine. Obviously, it would be better if your lawyer was able to reduce a reckless driving charge to a speeding ticket.
How to Pick The Best Fairfax Reckless Driving Lawyer
A reckless driving defense attorney is responsible for protecting the accused from misleading or false evidence. The lawyer can negotiate a reduction or elimination of the charge prior to the case appearing in court. He does this by interacting with the arresting officer and the prosecutor. As mentioned previously, a Fairfax lawyer will know the ins and outs of how to deal with these type of charges. It is strongly recommended to retain the services of a qualified lawyer like David Deane immediately after you have been charged with reckless driving.