Common Mistakes and Misconceptions For Reckless Driving Charges in Hampton

If charged with reckless driving in Virginia it’s important that you understand the severity of the charge and avoid making any mistakes that will end up costing you down the line. Below, a Hampton reckless driving lawyer discusses common mistakes and misconceptions she sees, and how these mistakes can be avoided. For help with your case, call and schedule a consultation today for free.

What Are Some Common Misconceptions People Have on Reckless Driving Charges in Hampton, Virginia?

It is common for people to misunderstand the severity of a reckless driving charge and treat it as a speeding ticket. Sometimes potential clients will ask us if we believe that they really need a lawyer because they think the charge isn’t really a big deal and they can save the money if they don’t pay a lawyer and handle it themselves. They ask specifically what the fine is likely to be, so they can gauge whether it’s worth paying an attorney or to just pay the fine. This is not a valid comparison, because by paying the fine and not fighting the charge, they are also accepting a conviction that will follow them for the rest of their life. Paying an attorney provides for the opportunity to avoid that permanent sentence. Another misconception is that a good option is just to plead guilty so that they can get over with it so that they can move on with their life. There aren’t any consequences to attempting to fight the charge. So really, it makes sense to give yourself at least a chance regardless of how small the offense is, instead of just throwing in the towel and accepting the conviction that will affect your criminal record forever.

What Are Some of The Most Common Mistakes You See Individuals Make in Reckless Driving Cases?

One of the most common mistakes we see with reckless driving cases is that drivers do not think it’s worth obtaining legal representation to help them in court. They see hiring a lawyer as an expense that they can just save themselves if they represent themselves. Sometimes, people will believe that since they are actually guilty and they don’t have a good story that shows otherwise, that the result in representing themselves or having a lawyer are going to the same end regardless. This is not true. There is more a lawyer can do than just fight the charge. They can also convince a judge to reduce the charge even if the defendant was guilty by presenting evidence to explain why it is in the interest of justice to do so. Lawyers can also have a strong impact on sentencing. Jail can cause people to lose their jobs sometimes. Different people can avoid different sentences. And a lawyer can make it so that the sentence is more doable for the particular person’s circumstances. The best thing that someone can do to avoid making these mistakes is to hire a lawyer.

Why Shouldn’t Someone Simply Pay the Fine Associated With Reckless Driving?

In Hampton, it is not possible to prepay a reckless driving fine. This is because reckless driving is a criminal charge and not just a traffic offense. Criminal charges require the defendant to appear in court to answer to the judge about the charge. However, if it were possible to pay the fine to get it over with, it would be a poor decision because there are no consequences in attempting to fight the charge, whereas there are consequences that come with a guilty conviction. Therefore, it makes sense not to give up without even trying. It is also possible to have a positive impact on sentencing even when the charge itself is inevitably going to result in a conviction. It is also possible sometimes to accept the reduced charge of speeding instead of a criminal charge of reckless driving. Appearing in court can make a difference in something that has lifelong implications. And drivers really do owe it to themselves and their future to not throw it away.