One of the most common misconceptions about reckless driving charges 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. 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 the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (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.
The experienced attorneys at Kassabian & Kassabian, P.L.C., are knowledgeable and skilled at helping you understand your reckless driving charge, 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.
What is Reckless Driving?
Exceeding the speed limit is the most common reason for a reckless driving charge. Under Virginia Code Section 46.2-862, drivers will may be accused of reckless driving when they are speeding at least twenty miles per hour over the posted speed limit or over eighty 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 control impaired
- Passing two vehicles abreast
- Passing at railroad grade crossing
- Driving two abreast in a single lane
- Passing on/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
What Are the Penalties of Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving can have an adverse impact on both your wallet and freedom. Reckless driving is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor and carries a fine of up to $2,500, a jail sentence of up to 12 months and loss of your driver's license for up to 6 months. When you receive a reckless driving summons, you may wish to simply appear in court, pay it off and move on. However, doing so will be the equivalent of pleading guilty, and you will be convicted of a misdemeanor that will appear on your DMV record for 11 years. It is imperative that you consult with an experienced reckless driving attorney who knows how to best defend against this charge.
How to Defend Against a Reckless Driving Charge
If you received a reckless driving summons, the attorneys at Kassabian & Kassabian. P.L.C., will build a strong and effective defense strategy. Defense strategies 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 that vehicle was operated on a public highway
- Ensure that the vehicle was operated on a parking lot
- Right of Confrontation assertions
Don't Wait, Create a Strong Case With Kassabian & Kassabian, PLC Today!
If you've been charged with reckless driving, there are ways to build a strong defense to reduced or even have your charged dismissed. Don't simply admit guilt and automatically pay the fines only to suffer from the penalties. You should consult with an experienced traffic defense attorney and begin building your case as soon as possible. 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 Kassabian & Kassabian, P.L.C., today at (703) 750-3622.