Virginia is known for having some of the harshest traffic laws in the country, and the charge for reckless driving is no exception.
Unlike most other states, reckless driving in Virginia encompasses a number of actions behind the wheel and is considered a criminal offense.
As an out of state driver, you cannot simply pay a fine to make a reckless driving charge in Virginia go away.
Here at Andrew Flusche, Attorney at Law, I help my out of state clients understand the seriousness of a reckless driving charge and the penalties that come with it if not fought by a top-tier traffic law attorney.
A reckless driving conviction in Virginia can result in a criminal record and other serious punishments if not handled correctly by an experienced Virginia reckless driving attorney.
Virginia Reckless Driving Laws
Under Virginia law, a driver can be cited for reckless driving if they drive more than twenty miles per hour over the posted speed limit or driving eighty miles per hour or more anywhere in the state.
Because the law defines reckless driving as driving in a way that puts another person in danger of injury or death, or that endangers property, other activities behind the wheel may also result in a reckless driving charge in Virginia.
These actions include failing to yield the right of way, spinning wheels, street racing, illegally passing, driving a vehicle with poor brakes, driving an overloaded vehicle, driving next to a vehicle on a one lane highway, or driving at a speed deemed too fast for traffic or weather conditions.
The penalties for a reckless driving conviction in Virginia are severe.
A conviction for this crime includes a Class 1 misdemeanor on your driving record, up to one year in jail, a fine up to $2,500, and other penalties such as points on your driving record, increased insurance premiums, and greater chances of civil liability if the reckless driving charge came from a traffic accident.
This can also affect your driver’s license in your state of residence because a conviction for reckless driving in Virginia will follow you home.
How a Virginia Reckless Driving Conviction Affects You
A conviction for reckless driving in Virginia can have serious consequences for out of state drivers.
First, the criminal conviction will follow you to your home state, appearing on background checks for jobs, housing, security clearances, and more.
Second, a conviction for reckless driving in Virginia may trigger driving laws in your own state, resulting in further punishment for the crime as if it had happened in your home state.
For example, a New Jersey driver could face an additional fine, called a surcharge, for a reckless driving conviction in Virginia if you have too many existing points on your New Jersey license.
For North Carolina drivers, driving more than fifteen miles per hour over the speed limit can result in a thirty-day license suspension, so a reckless driving conviction for driving more than twenty miles per hour in Virginia could automatically trigger that penalty when you return home.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Unlike a minor traffic ticket, where you can simply pay the fine from your home state, a reckless driving ticket says that you are supposed to appear in court.
However, for many reckless driving clients, I am able to defend the case without you coming to court at all, saving you considerable time and money to return to Virginia for your charge.
In addition, a Virginia traffic lawyer may be able to reduce the charge from reckless driving to a traffic violation such as simple speeding or improper driving.
A Virginia lawyer can review the facts of your case and provide legal guidance on your options for your reckless driving case.
My Office Can Help
If you live out of state and have been charged with reckless driving in Virginia, it is imperative that you speak with a Virginia reckless driving lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.
The ramifications of not taking this charge seriously or fighting it zealously can significantly affect many aspects of your life. Call the office or contact me today at Andrew Flusche, Attorney at Law in Fredericksburg to schedule a consultation of your reckless driving case.