Driving in a manner that endangers life, limb or property is charged as Reckless Driving.
Types of Reckless Driving
The most common type of reckless driving is due to excessive speeding. This means driving 20 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit, or driving 80 miles per hour or more. You can also be charged due to passing a school bus loading passengers, passing an emergency vehicle with it’s lights on, racing, driving faster than is safe for the current weather conditions, driving with bad brakes, and general reckless driving. General reckless driving is commonly charged when there has been an accident and police are called to the scene. Many departments have a policy where the officers are required to issue a reckless driving ticket to the driver that caused the accident.
Mistakes to Avoid
The biggest mistake you can make when charged with Reckless Driving is not taking the charge seriously. It’s easy to make the mistake in assuming that reckless driving is just a traffic ticket. In Virginia however, reckless driving is a Class 1 Misdemeanor. This means that it is a criminal offense and a conviction will remain on your record forever. The possible penalty includes a fine of up to $2,500.00 and jail time for up to 12 months. A conviction also remains on your DMV record for up to 11 years and causes of loss of 6 driving points on your license. Depending on your prior record, a conviction could cause you to have your license suspended.
Can I just prepay the fine to make the charge go away?
Since it is a criminal charge, it is not an option to prepay the fine and avoid going to court. The Court requires defendants to appear in person to answer to the charge. This can be especially difficult for out-of-state drivers. Often it is very costly and time-consuming to come back to Virginia for a court date. Depending on the specific facts of the case, sometimes it is possible for an attorney to appear on your behalf . Your best bet is to schedule a consultation as soon as possible to see what your options are. An attorney can tell you what to do before your court date to mitigate any possible damage this charge may have on your record and on your life. Contact our office today!