When you’re charged with reckless driving, you probably have one primary question: How will this affect my life? It’s a good question, and the answer depends on a few factors:
- Is reckless driving a felony in VA?
- What were the circumstances of your charge?
- How good is your lawyer?
You can’t change the circumstances of your charge, but you can act to try to minimize the effects. To give yourself the best chance, you need to hire an experienced reckless driving defense attorney.
Your attorney will first explain your charge to you, clarifying whether it is a felony or a misdemeanor. If you have been charged with felony reckless driving, there are some things you need to know.
Is Reckless Driving a Felony in VA?
In Virginia, reckless driving occurs when you excessively speed or endanger the life, limb, or property of any person. While these criteria apply to misdemeanor reckless driving, sometimes your charge is upgraded to a reckless driving felony.
You may be charged with felony reckless driving for these reasons:
- You were driving with a suspended or revoked license from a moving traffic violation and caused someone’s death; or
- You were racing and seriously injured or killed someone.
These factors can upgrade your charge to a Class 6 felony offense, which significantly increases potential penalties.
Penalties for a Reckless Driving Felony
If you are charged with felony reckless driving, you face these possible penalties:
- Up to five years in prison;
- A fine of up to $2,500;
- A driver license suspension; and
- Demerit points for your driver license.
If you killed someone while racing, the penalties increase even more. For that offense, you could be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Permanent Criminal Record Effects
A felony conviction becomes a permanent part of your criminal record. In Virginia, there is no expungement of criminal offenses. Even after you serve prison time or pay a fine, a felony conviction can impact your life by:
- Preventing you from getting a job,
- Preventing you from obtaining desirable housing,
- Affecting child custody and visitation arrangements, and
- Increasing insurance premiums.
Because a felony reckless driving conviction has the potential to impact your life for years to come, you must do everything you can to get this charge reduced or dismissed. Hiring a skilled criminal defense lawyer should be your first step in reclaiming your life.
Get Help from a Reckless Driving Attorney
A reckless driving attorney can review the circumstances of your charge, investigate police claims, and construct a defense. Depending on your experience, defenses might include:
- A good driving record,
- Incorrect radar calibration,
- An inaccurate speedometer, and
- Driving during an emergency.
A skilled attorney can help you pursue any defense that has the potential to reduce your charge to a misdemeanor. At Andrew Flusche, Attorney at Law, PLC, I help clients charged with reckless driving. I have so much experience in this area of law that I wrote a book on the subject.
Feel free to browse my book for more information, or contact me right away to get started on your defense. I aim to protect you from the consequences of this charge and preserve your freedom.
A reckless driving charge is a serious matter, but you can minimize its impact on your life with the right attorney on your side.