A reckless driving ticket in Virginia is more than a serious inconvenience; it becomes a part of your criminal and driving records. However, it is possible to have a reckless driving ticket reduced in Virginia, lessening the severity of the consequences. If you have been charged with reckless driving in Virginia, there may be options for reducing the ticket through the skill and representation of an experienced Fairfax traffic defense attorney.
What Constitutes Reckless Driving In Virginia?
An officer may issue a summons or warrant for reckless driving in Virginia based on a number of behaviors. The most common basis for reckless driving is excessive speed; in Virginia, driving in excess of 85 miles per hour regardless of the maximum posted speed limit is considered reckless driving. Similarly, driving 20 miles per hour or more in excess of the posted limit is also reckless.
Other vehicular actions also constitute reckless driving including driving an overloaded vehicle, passing on the shoulder or performing other maneuvers that endanger the life or property of others. Reckless driving is a more severe offense than an improper driving ticket.
The Penalties For Reckless Driving In Virginia
Reckless driving is a criminal offense, and is added to your criminal history in addition to your driving record. Reckless driving is a six-point, Class 1 misdemeanor; the maximum penalties in Virginia are the 6 DMV points, a $2,500 fine, 12 months of jail time, and/or a driver’s license suspension of up to six months.
In order to avoid some or all of these consequences, a skilled traffic defense attorney will work to have your reckless driving ticket reduced or dismissed.
How To Get A Reckless Driving Ticket Reduced
If an officer has charged you with reckless driving, you are not guaranteed to receive the maximum penalties. A legal expert can help to get your ticket reduced in a number of ways such as paying only a small fine and avoiding the misdemeanor on your criminal history.
Cooperation With The Officer
One of the best strategies for reducing a reckless driving ticket is something that you cannot control after the fact: cooperating with the officer. When you were pulled over during the event, the manner in which you interacted with the officer is important; if you were polite and cordial, you are more likely to be able to work with that individual in court than if you were coarse and uncooperative.
Law enforcement officers continue to be involved after the ticket has been written, because they will also make an appearance in court on the day of your hearing; it is important to treat them with respect in order to achieve the best outcome. Cooperating with an officer can encourage that officer to recommend less severe punishments when you are together again in court.
Downgrade To Improper Driving
A skilled Fairfax traffic defense attorney may be able to reduce your reckless driving ticket to improper driving depending on the details of your case. Improper driving is a three-point traffic infraction, compared to the six-point criminal misdemeanor; therefore, downgrading to an improper driving charge is worth the effort.
Virginia law, however, does not allow officers to write improper driving tickets. This means that cooperation with the officer both during the event and in court is the best means of having them recommend a downgrade from reckless driving to improper driving. Your legal counsel can help you to encourage this decision during your hearing.
Clinics & Community Service
As long as you do not possess a commercial driver’s license, the judge is permitted to be lenient in cases of reckless driving by recommending that you attend a driver improvement clinic or perform community service in lieu of the normal penalties for the charge.
These are two of the best methods for having your reckless driving penalties reduced or even dismissed entirely. It is critical that you speak with your attorney before attending driving school of your own volition; doing so before resolving your court hearing may hurt your case with some judges, even if you believe that you are being proactive.
Work With An Experienced Virginia Traffic Defense Attorney
If you have been ticketed for reckless driving, be sure to act quickly to have the best chance of getting your reckless driving ticket reduced in Virginia. The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge would be happy to assist you with any traffic violation helping you to avoid costly fines and jail time whenever possible.
Reach out to schedule a consultation with an experienced Fairfax traffic defense attorney who will be able to evaluate your case and help you to develop a successful strategy.