What Happens After Being Charged With Reckless Driving in Newport News?

In Virginia, reckless driving is a serious charge that can result in fines and jail time in addition to being added to your criminal record. For this reason, if you’ve been accused of reckless driving, it’s important that you contact a reckless driving attorney in Newport News who understands exactly what you are facing.

Below are some common questions asked about what happens in your case after being arrested and charged, answered by a Newport News reckless driving lawyer.

Why Are Newport News Reckless Driving Charges Unique?

Reckless driving in Newport News, as well as all of Virginia, is unique because it is a more serious offense here than it is in many of the other states. Some other states don’t even have reckless driving charges based on the speed whereas here in Virginia it is easily the most common way that reckless driving is charged. Along the same lines, reckless driving is not only treated more seriously, it is actually a misdemeanor which can lead to potential jail time and hefty fines.

Some other states treat it as any other speeding tickets that can simply be prepaid without ever having to go to the court. A conviction for reckless driving will stay on your DMV record for 11 years and constitutes 6 demerit points on someone’s driver’s license and if they tally up enough demerit points then they may also have their driver’s license suspended.

If An Individual is Charged With Reckless Driving in Newport News Where Will the Case Be Heard?

The case will typically be heard in the Newport News General District Court which is located at 2500 Washington Avenue in Newport News. If the driver was charged with the offense while on Federal property such as a military base then the case will be heard in the Federal Court instead. If the case is appealed after a guilty verdict in the General District Court then it becomes possible for the case to be heard in Circuit Courts. Appeals are not something we typically see in reckless driving cases though.

What Makes The Process of How These Cases Are Handled Unique?

Reckless driving cases are unique in how they are handled because they are treated very similarly to most traffic infractions but they are actually criminal charges. In Newport News there is no prosecutor involved in a reckless driving case unlike most other criminal charges. The case is handled by the law enforcement officer who issued the summons to the driver. The law enforcement officers are very fair. Some people think officer is always going to aggressively fight against them but many times officers will be the first to point out that the defendant was polite and cooperative.

Often it is the case that lawyers get reckless driving charges dismissed on a technicality based on something the officer did or didn’t do, either in the course of the stop or even during the officer’s testimony in court. Just because there isn’t a prosecutor doesn’t mean that it’s easy to get out of the charge, and having an attorney is definitely the best way to ensure all your bases are covered, especially when it comes to details in the law that laypeople simply aren’t aware of.

What Are The Long Time Implications of a Reckless Driving Conviction?

Long term implications of reckless driving are that the person will have a criminal record for the remainder of their lives which  will not be able to be expunged in Virginia. When applying for jobs the person will have to list on the application if necessary that they have been convicted of a misdemeanor criminal offense. Because fines are usually associated with a reckless driving conviction it is really important to pay them off as soon as possible so as not to accumulate more penalties. Unpaid fines that go on for a lengthy period of time can result in further problems such as license suspension and more fines.

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