One of the most common misconceptions about reckless driving charges in Virginia is that they are the same as regular speeding tickets. They are not! Reckless driving charges are far more serious, as they are classified as Class 1 Misdemeanors and are punishable by up to 12 months in jail, and or a fine of up to $2,500.00 and potential suspension of your driver's license for up to 6 months. The experienced Fairfax reckless driving attorney at Kassabian & Kassabian, P.L.C., is knowledgeable and skilled at helping you understand your reckless driving charge and can assist you in making a well-informed decision regarding the possible options regarding your charge with the goal of having the charge dismissed or reduced. Contact us today for a free consultation at (703) 750-3622.
RECKLESS DRIVING CHARGES IN VIRGINIA
In addition to the possibility of losing your driver's license, a reckless driving conviction will adversely impact your driving record, automobile insurance, will result in 6 driving demerit points being assessed to your Virginia driving record by DMV and the conviction will appear on your Virginia driving for 11 years. Even if a reckless driving conviction does not result in jail time, you still may incur a high fine; and if you admit guilt in court, that admission may be used against you at a later civil hearing in those reckless driving charges that resulted in an automobile accident and a civil suit has been filed against you for personal injury of the other motorist. To avoid or reduce these penalties, it is in your best interest to work with a reckless driving lawyer serving Fairfax. A good attorney can often help you reduce or eliminate your Fairfax reckless driving charge.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED RECKLESS DRIVING IN FAIRFAX COUNTY?
Reckless driving in Fairfax is defined under Virginia reckless driving law. Exceeding the speed limit is the most common reason for a reckless driving charge. Under Virginia Code Section 46.2-862, drivers may be accused of reckless driving when they are speeding at least twenty miles per hour over the posted speed limit or over eighty-five miles per hour regardless of the posted speed limit. Additionally, under Virginia Code Section 46.2-852, irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, you may be charged with reckless driving when you drive a motor vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person. You can receive a reckless driving charge for a plethora of other reasons:
- Aggressive driving
- Failure to yield right-of-way
- Failure to give proper signals
- Reckless driving in parking lots
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Driving with driver's view obstructed or impaired
- Passing two vehicles abreast
- Passing at railroad grade crossing
- Driving two abreast or in a single lane
- Passing on or at the crest of a grade or on a curve
- Driving without control of your vehicle
- Driving too fast for highway and traffic conditions
- Causing an accident
- Drunk driving
WHAT ARE RECKLESS DRIVING PENALTIES IN VIRGINIA?
Reckless driving in Fairfax or elsewhere in the state of Virginia can have an adverse impact on both your wallet and freedom. Virginia reckless driving ticket cost is not cheap and depending on the seriousness of your case, your chances of going to jail for reckless driving in Virginia may be higher than you imagined. Many people think reckless driving is akin to a simple speeding ticket, when in reality it is a misdemeanor: a criminal charge that will remain on your criminal record permanently.
To be more specific, reckless driving is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor and carries a fine of up to $2,500, and or a jail sentence of up to 12 months with the possible loss of your driver's license for up to 6 months. When you receive a reckless driving summons, you may decide to simply appear in court, pay it off and move on. However, doing so will result in you being convicted of a Class 1 Misdemeanor that will appear on your DMV record for 11 years. Criminal records can prevent you from being able to rent a home, get a job, get into college, join the military, and cause a variety of other obstacles in your life. This is why it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Fairfax reckless driving attorney who knows how to defend against this charge. To find out more about your rights, get in touch with Kassabian & Kassabian, P.L.C. at (703) 750-3622 or contact us here.
HOW TO FIGHT A RECKLESS DRIVING CHARGE
If you received a reckless driving summons, there are plenty of ways to fight the charge, but it is not a good idea to go it alone. Many people look to the internet to find out how to get a reckless driving ticket dismissed in Virginia or what to say in court for reckless driving, but the best course of action is to work with a lawyer with experience in these areas. In a nutshell, the best reckless driving lawyers in Virginia will have experience with judges and courts in the area where you were charged as well as a strong record of successful reckless driving cases.
There are several things that could potentially benefit to you in a reckless driving case, however. The first of these is your prior driving record. If a judge looks at your driving record and you do not have many offenses against you, they can, under Virginia Code 46.2-943, potentially reduce your charge. Sometimes, with a good Fairfax reckless driving lawyer by your side, a reckless driving charge can be reduced to improper driving or speeding. In other cases, a lawyer can prevent you from getting a misdemeanor criminal charge, reduce the points against your driving record, or get other reckless driving penalties reduced or dismissed. This is especially true for first time reckless driving charges.
Another thing that can sometimes improve your outcome in court is showing that you are an upstanding citizen. This could mean that you were cooperative with the officer when you were charged, that you are actively employed or a strong student, or that you do meaningful work in your community. A good lawyer will know how to harness this information to support your case.
Taking a driver improvement course can also be helpful. If you were driving at a high speed above 90 miles per hour, this will actually be required of you, but you can also choose to complete the course on your own to show the judge that your case is of importance to you. Driver improvement courses are offered through the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP). Once you receive a certificate of completion, your attorney can submit it to hopefully improve your outcome in court.
A good lawyer can also advise you on whether it may be worth it to have your vehicle speedometer tested. Under Virginia Code 46.2-942, the court allows you to have your speedometer tested and the results admitted as evidence. If the test shows that your speedometer was inaccurate and showed a lower reading than the speed the officer clocked you at before your charge, it could help you get a reduced charge. Additionally, if the officer's speedometer or radar is challenged in court and found inaccurate, this could help your case. As you can imagine, this can get somewhat complicated, so working with a Fairfax traffic lawyer is in your best interest.
In addition to these scenarios, criminal defense lawyer John Kassabian has experience building strong and effective defense strategies that may include:
- Radar calibration challenges
- Laser calibration challenges
- Microcomputer device challenges
- Tuning fork challenges
- Challenges to vehicle stops
- Examining and challenging radar, laser and microchip maintenance records
- Challenging the officer's PACE methods
- Obtaining and examining police dash cam recordings
- Obtaining and examining police body cam recordings
- Obtaining the Police Departments' General Orders regarding police dash cam and body cam devices
- Accident reconstruction
- Examining and photographing posted speed limit signs to make sure the signs that you are alleged to have violated are properly authorized and posted
- Ensure your vehicle was actually driven on a public highway
- Ensure your vehicle was driven on a parking lot
- Right of Confrontation assertions
With over 25 years' experience, Mr. Kassabian has helped many Fairfax residents get their reckless driving charges dropped or reduced. He may be able to help you, too.
DON'T WAIT, CREATE A STRONG CASE WITH KASSABIAN & KASSABIAN, P.L.C. TODAY!
If you've been charged with reckless driving in Fairfax County, there are ways to build a strong defense to reduce or even have your charged dismissed. Don't simply admit guilt and automatically pay the fines only to suffer from the penalties when you could get a reckless driving ticket dropped. You should instead consult with an experienced reckless driving attorney in Fairfax and begin building your case as soon as possible. What you will pay in terms of reckless driving ticket lawyer cost is often worth it when you consider the positive impact a good outcome can have on your life.
Attorney John Kassabian is adept at helping you understand your charge and presenting a strong defense to obtain the most favorable possible outcome. As a former prosecutor for Fairfax County, as a former prosecutor in Prince William County, and as a long-time criminal defense attorney and traffic defense attorney, John knows the law and understands how to present your case to the prosecutor and the court with an eye on obtaining positive resolution in your case.
Don't plead guilty by paying your reckless driving fine and suffer the penalties. Contact John Kassabian today at (703) 750-3622.