Severity of Reckless Driving Charges in Hampton

Reckless driving is a very serious offense in Hampton and should therefore be taken as seriously as possible. Unlike a simple speeding ticket, reckless driving is a Class 1 Misdemeanor which means that it is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500 in addition to a license suspension of up to 6 months. For this reason, anyone who is charged or even accused, should seek the counsel of a Hampton reckless driving lawyer immediately.

Reckless Driving Penalties

Reckless driving in Hampton is a Class 1 Misdemeanor which is a criminal charge. This means that it is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2500 as well as a license suspension of up to 6 months. A conviction also results in 6 demerit points on somebody’s Department of Motor Vehicle record remaining there for 11 years.

For excessive speeding reckless driving, which is the most common form, the penalties tend to increase as the speed increases. Sometimes people get lengthy active jail time for excessive speeding and their license is suspended, so it can be important to work with a Hampton area reckless driving lawyer in order to avoid these heavier penalties.

Difference Between a Speeding Ticket and Reckless Driving

A speeding ticket is a traffic infraction, whereas reckless driving charge is a misdemeanor conviction. So the difference is in the penalties and in the long term consequences. A speeding ticket is not a jailable offense, whereas for you could face up to 12 months in jail for reckless driving. Long term, a speeding ticket will disappear from your records, whereas a reckless driving conviction will remain for the rest of your life. Additionally, reckless driving charges in Hampton can also include a variety of other moving violations besides speeding, but they can result from excessive speeding as well.

Many people don’t realize how quickly a speeding ticket can escalate from a simple traffic infraction to a criminal misdemeanor. In Virginia anyone who is driving at an excessive speed can be charged with reckless driving once the speed reaches 20 miles/hour over the posted speed limit. This can sometimes not feel like very much depending on what road it is, so often times people believe that they are charged with just regular traffic infractions for speeding and then later they find that they can’t prepay the ticket because it is actually a criminal charge.

How To Tell Which You Were Charged With

The paper citation that the officer gives the driver to sign usually specifies whether it is a speeding or reckless driving citation. Most of the time, if it is reckless driving it says directly, ‘Reckless Driving’. It might also have a check box, right below where the actual charge is written, where the officer can indicate whether or not the charge includes a mandatory court appearance.

If there is no mandatory court appearance, then it is a speeding ticket and the box will be checked. If there is a mandatory court appearance, then it is reckless driving and the box will remain unchecked, or the entire section will be crossed out. A Hampton based reckless driving lawyer can help clarify a citation and the charges included.

Benefits of an Attorney in a Reckless Driving Case

The role of an attorney in a reckless driving case is to shed reasonable doubt on the allegation that someone was driving recklessly. They do this by presenting mitigating evidence and through a strong cross-examination of the police officer. A Hampton reckless driving lawyer can also object, if there is any legal basis to do so, to make sure that no inadmissible evidence is considered. Reckless driving attorneys can help their clients obtain good results in situations that may seem hopeless. Even if a reckless driving, conviction is 100% certain, an attorney can help ensure that the penalties are not as harsh as they would be without an attorney’s aid. Sometimes this can mean preventing an active jail sentence or having the fines reduced.