Hampton Reckless Driving Penalties

Below, a Hampton reckless driving lawyer discusses penalties of those convicted of reckless driving may face in Virginia. If you are facing a reckless driving charge, call today and set up a free consultation.

What Are The Differences Between Reckless Driving and a Traffic Ticket?

For a reckless driving case, the defendant will have to make an appearance in court to answer the charges. A regular speeding ticket will not require a court appearance if the defendant doesn’t want to be there. Usually, speeding tickets include directions on the ticket itself on how they can pay the ticket in advance whether it’s the online or via the mail and they also inform the driver that they are not obligated to go to court.

A reckless driver’s summon is  different from a speeding ticket. If the driver signs a summons,  they’re promising to appear in court or risk being charged with a failure to appear. Also, another difference is that a speeding ticket fine is pre-payable by calling the clerk’s office in the jurisdiction where you received the ticket and paying over the phone, or by mailing in a check, or going in person to the court and paying. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor offense and is not illegible to be prepaid in Virginia at all.

Reckless driving charges are heard in court in front of a judge and are therefore not able to be paid beforehand because the amount of the fine is not known before the court hearing. This is because the judge sets the fine depending on the circumstances of the case. Every case is different. A final and crucial difference is that a reckless driving conviction results in a criminal conviction which will remain on someone’s record as a misdemeanor forever. In contrast, a speeding ticket affects only the driving record and results in six demerit points and remains in the record for up to 11 years. Reckless driving never goes away.

What Are The Penalties Associated With a Reckless Driving Conviction in Hampton?

Penalties can vary with reckless driving in Hampton. Penalties can include a fine, community service, license suspension and jail time, depending on how fast over the speed limit the person was caught when they were ticketed. Reckless driving is a class one misdemeanor criminal charge in Virginia so the maximum penalty is a $2,500 fine and 12 months in jail, just like every other class one misdemeanor. A person travelling 81 miles per hour in an 80 mile per hour zone is less likely to receive jail time and or large fine than someone going 30 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit. Someone’s driving record can also have an effect on how harsh the judge wants to be as well, with the driving record being rewarded.

Are There Any Penalties That Can Be Levied Against An Individual’s Driver’s License?

Yes. Conviction would result in six demerits points on someone’s’ drivers license which would remain on the record for up to 11 years. And the consequences of getting too many demerit points could result in a suspended license down the line as well.