Virginia Beach Reckless Driving Charges: Out of State Drivers

Virginia Beach, and Virginia as a whole, treats speeding differently from other jurisdictions because it is one of the few states that has a reckless driving by speed criminal charge. This means that the same exact behavior in another state would just be a traffic infraction, whereas in Virginia it’s treated as a criminal offense. Thus, if someone were to be charged with reckless driving by speed in Virginia, though they might live in a state where that would simply be a traffic infraction, they would still face a reckless driving charge. If you live outside of Virginia, contact a Virginia Beach reckless driving lawyer right away for help in your case.

Speeding Tickets v. Reckless Driving Charges in VA Beach

An out of state driver should make sure that the speeding ticket is only a traffic infraction. He should check the ticket that he’s been issued and make sure that it’s not actually reckless driving. On the ticket it will specify speeding or reckless driving, and if it doesn’t then below that it will show whether the defendant needs to appear in court or if he has the option to prepay the ticket and admit guilt without going to court. This is a very important distinction to make because reckless driving has mandatory appearances in court. An out of state driver will have to come back to Virginia to answer to that charge, whereas with a speeding charge, if he wanted to plead guilty, he could do so without having to appear, or he can hire an attorney to appear on his behalf.

Contacting Virginia Beach Reckless Driving Lawyer

An out of state driver who has a reckless driving charge should contact local counsel because sometimes it’s possible for an out of state driver’s attorney to appear on their behalf even for a reckless driving case. Typically, reckless driving requires the defendant to appear in person himself, but sometimes the attorney can get approval from the judge for the driver to not have to appear. This sometimes happens if the speed is very close to speeding and not excessively reckless driving, so that jail time is less likely to be a possibility. This is something that your attorney will be able to discuss with you and see if you are going to be able to qualify for.

Benefits of Hiring Local Attorney

If you’re facing a reckless driving charge in Virginia, not only can your attorney possibly go to court on your behalf depending on your speed, but an attorney can also help you figure out what the best strategy is for going to court and for fighting the charge. Reckless driving is very serious and having a class one misdemeanor on your record is not something that should be taken lightly. Your attorney can help build a strong case for you and can explain exactly what the Virginia law is and can help you figure out what it may mean for you in your own home state.

Ignorance as Defense

Being unaware of the traffic laws is not a defense in Virginia or really anywhere. Ignorance is never a defense. Law enforcement and the courts believe that anyone going 80 mph or more reasonably know that they’re driving at excessive speeds.

Out of state drivers should know that speeding tickets in Virginia Beach are handed out like candy. Virginia Beach is a tourist attraction where people come from all over the place and officers really kind of take advantage of that. The speed limit, especially near the ocean front near the boardwalk is really low because there are so many pedestrians, so it’s very easy to be caught speeding. It’s really important to keep this in mind because if you’re charged with reckless driving, you’re going to have to come back and that’s extremely inconvenient for anybody.