Important Things to Know About Reckless Driving in Portsmouth

If you receive a reckless driving conviction, a class one misdemeanor will become part of your permanent criminal record. Many schools, jobs and even housing companies conduct criminal background checks where any misdemeanors will appear.

So if there is a misdemeanor on your record, it may have negative effect on whether you are able to enroll in school, be hired by an employer or obtain housing. It will also remain on your driving record, your DMV record for 11 years. For this reason it is important that you consult with a Portsmouth reckless driving lawyer as soon as you are charged with reckless driving.

The following is more information on what you should know regarding reckless driving in Virginia. Call today to learn more and schedule a free consultation.

What Should I Be Prepared For?

First, they should be prepared to physically show up in court since it will not be an option to prepay the charge.

Second, they should be prepared, hopefully with a lawyer, to explain what happened to the judge or if they are pleading guilty, to explain why the judge should be lenient in sentencing them.

If they were driving excessively fast, especially when it gets to speeds of 30 miles per hour or more over the speed limit, then third, they should be prepared to go to jail.

Are You Arrested For Reckless Driving?

A reckless driving charge in Portsmouth will result in the same type of process as that of a traffic ticket. The police officer that pulled the driver over will issue a summons to the driver with all of the information about the court and the date. And then the driver will be free to leave shortly after he signs, so he will not be taken to jail.

A summons is very similar to a traffic ticket except that when the driver signs it, they are promising to appear in court instead of being arrested, where the driver would be taken in custody as would happen in many other criminal charges.

Because of the similarity to the traffic ticket process, people mistakenly believe reckless driving is the exact same as any speeding charges. This is a costly mistake because it ignores the fact that reckless driving is a criminal charge, which could result in a class one misdemeanor, a much bigger deal than a simple traffic ticket.

Biggest Myths about Reckless Driving in Portsmouth

A common misconception in Portsmouth is that speed is irrelevant. For example, some drivers that were going 100 miles per hour fail to see the difference between a reckless driving charged at that speed compared to just at 81 miles per hour.

The statute is the same statute in both situations and the summons are virtually identical except for the number. However, the speed is absolutely relevant and it is not uncommon for drivers to receive jail time for higher speeds and for longer periods of  time the higher the speeds go.

Another misconception is that it’s easy to have a reckless driving charge dismissed completely or reduced to just speeding. This is a very fact-dependent situation and for very high speeds, a reduction is a lot less likely.