Portsmouth Reckless Driving Lawyer

Reckless driving in Virginia covers a lot of different driving misconducts, from speeding to not using a turn signal.  While many may already know that getting charged with reckless driving means a higher fine than they would have faced for a normal ticket, what they may not know is that reckless driving is actually a crime, meaning that there could be lifetime consequences for it.  It is essential that the first step you take whenever you get a reckless driving ticket in Portsmouth is to call a Portsmouth reckless driving lawyer and set up your consultation.

Reckless Driving Lawyer in Portsmouth VAVirginia has harsher reckless driving laws than almost any other state in the country making a Portsmouth reckless driving lawyer all the more important.  As an example of why such strict laws are in place, one only needs to look at the statistics in Virginia when it comes to speeding, which would be subject to reckless driving laws under some circumstances.  For instance, in 2013, across Virginia, there were over 13,500 people injured and nearly 350 people killed in accidents where speeding was a factor.  In Portsmouth alone, there were 145 people injured in speeding-related accidents.  Most of the people who are involved in accidents related to speeding are men and those under the age of 40.

Reckless Driving Laws

Reckless driving generally means driving in a manner that puts the lives and safety of other drivers on the road in jeopardy. There are specific behaviors under the law that can count as reckless driving, and there is also a provision that acts as a “catch-all” for behaviors that endanger other drivers but may not be specifically forbidden under the other statutes, such as running a stop sign. Lawmakers are almost always debating adding different types of driving misconduct to the reckless driving statute, such as texting while driving.

The specific driving behaviors that are subject to the reckless driving statutes include:

  1. Speeding – driving too fast for conditions, more than 20 MPH over the speed limit or more than 80 MPH
  2. Illegal passing – passing a school bus, passing an emergency vehicle, passing on the top of a hill, passing on a curve, or passing at a railroad crossing
  3. Failing to use a turn signal
  4. Driving with an obstructed view
  5. Driving with faulty brakes
  6. Drag racing

This is not a comprehensive list, and you must remember that basically any behavior that could threaten other drivers could result in a reckless driving charge. If you are unsure about whether your violation could be considered reckless, or about what specific penalties you could be facing contact a Portsmouth reckless driving lawyer.

Penalties for Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor, meaning that it carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Someone convicted of reckless driving also faces points on their license. A person’s reckless driving conviction would stay on their DMV record for 11 years after the conviction.  What must be kept in mind, though, is that the misdemeanor conviction is the same as any criminal conviction and would remain on a person’s criminal record forever.

Beyond the consequences that someone would face in the criminal justice system, there are many other problems that come along with a reckless driving conviction.  Most notably for the short term would be that car insurance rates for someone with a reckless driving  conviction could increase dramatically.  Additionally, because reckless driving is a criminal charge and not a violation, someone convicted of reckless driving now has a criminal record.  This can cause serious problems with things like obtaining security clearances, getting professional licenses, or passing a background check for employment or even one related to housing.

Why to Contact a Portsmouth Reckless Driving Lawyer

Reckless driving is not the same as any other ticket and should be taken very seriously, starting with hiring skilled legal counsel such as a Portsmouth reckless driving defense lawyer.  If you have been charged with reckless driving, you need to call today to ensure that your rights are protected.