Hampton Roads Reckless Driving Lawyer

Reckless Driving Lawyer in Hampton RoadsThe penalty for reckless driving in Virginia is the same as it is for DUI.  It causes a lot of points to go on your Virginia driving record and becomes part of your criminal record.  This could impact your employment opportunities and affect your ability to receive, or keep, security clearances with the government and most private-sector employers. Reckless driving is also a jailable offense, so all who receive such a ticket on the Virginia Peninsula need to speak with a seasoned Hampton Roads reckless driving lawyer as soon as possible.

Definition of Reckless Driving and Its Penalties

Reckless driving is a group of about a dozen moving violation charges that pose the greatest threat to public safety and property.  They include excessive speed, several dangerous passing violations, inability to control your vehicle (known as the “faulty brake” statute) and racing. Virginia Criminal Code Sections 46.2-852–865.

Those who are convicted face a class 1 misdemeanor jail sentence of up to 12 months and a fine up to $2,500.  Even first-time offenders with good driving records could receive an active jail sentence depending on how aggravated their case may be. All who are convicted of reckless driving will have six demerit points are added to their Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) driving records.  Those points remain for 11 years after conviction. If you are concerned about your driving license, a reckless driving attorney in Hampton Roads may be able to help with administrative penalties and the Virginia DMV.

Enhanced Reckless Driving Penalties and the DMV Points System

If your license is suspended or revoked at the time you are ticketed for reckless driving, and you cause an accident that takes the life of another, you could face a class 6 felony charge. Section 46.2-868(B).  The penalty for this violation is up to five years in prison or a discretionary reduction of 12 months in jail, along with a $2,500 fine. Section 18.2-10(f).

If you were found to have been using a handheld device when you were ticketed for driving recklessly, a $250 fine is added to the penalty. Section 46.2-1078.1.  If this same behavior causes a fatal accident, it can be charged as a class 6 reckless driving felony.  Though the penalty is the same as for a class 1 misdemeanor, the violator instead has a felony conviction added to their criminal record. Section 46.2-868(C).

The Virginia DMV’s Uniform Demerit Point System monitors and evaluates the driving records of those who hold a Virginia driver’s license.  Negative points – three, four, or six – are applied to convictions for each moving violation.  The more serious the offense, the great the number of points received, and the longer they remain on your driving record.  Six-point reckless driving offenses are the longest-lasting of any moving violation.  And that number is halfway to the threshold (12 points over a one-year period) that allows the DMV to require you to complete a driver education course.  If you have points from another moving violation any time during the next 11 years, that’s too close for comfort if you want to keep your license. A Hampton Roads reckless driving lawyer can help you with administrative DMV issues and the criminal proceedings.

Other Advantages of Retaining a Hampton Roads Reckless Driving Lawyer

Maybe you think you can negotiate a plea bargain to a lesser charge, but the Virginia Criminal Code prevents prosecutors from negotiating them with any suspect who is charged with any jailable offense.  You can’t speak directly with the prosecutor until you appear in court.  Hampton Roads reckless driving lawyers, however, can negotiate plea deals anytime leading up to the trial date.

If it is not practical for you to make your court date, your lawyer can appear on your behalf to argue your case and maybe even negotiate a plea agreement if you sign a General Power of Attorney (POA).  But you must fulfill all sentencing conditions of your conviction or plea agreement that your attorney negotiates for you.

If you have previous moving violations and a significant accumulation of points, your driver’s license suspension could last as long as three years, depending on several variables.  And if you lose your license, you’ll likely lose your insurance coverage altogether. Then, before your license is returned, you might have to purchase very expensive shared risk (SR-22) coverage if traditional insurers refuse to issue you a policy.