The Firm To Call For Strategic, Decisive Defense Against Reckless Driving Charges
In addition to being a traffic infraction that carries six demerit points, in Virginia, the offense of reckless driving is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor. This is the same criminal classification as such offenses as assault and battery, petit larceny and disorderly conduct. The maximum penalty is a year in jail, a $2,500 fine and the loss of a license for six months.
If you’ve been charged with reckless driving, you can’t afford to treat the charges lightly or wait to take action. Instead, call us at The Law Office of Maury & Krol, PLLC, at 804-529-3647.
This Offense Can Be Difficult To Define
The determination of what constitutes reckless driving can be very subjective. While there are several statutes that more precisely define conduct that equates to reckless driving, Virginia Code Section 46.2-852 provides a catchall, as it states: “Irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving.”
You May Have More Legal Options Than You Realize
Despite this impossibly broad definition, it is often possible to prevail in your case. The burden is still on the commonwealth to prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Even if the judge determines that the facts are sufficient for a finding of guilt, you may still avoid a misdemeanor conviction. The law grants the judge the authority to reduce the charge to improper driving, which is simply a 3 demerit point infraction. Your conduct with the officer can often influence this decision.
While it’s generally advisable to treat police officers with courtesy, it is not always advisable to be too talkative. For example, when an officer finds a motor vehicle that has been in a collision, the driver often talks their way into a conviction by trying to explain what happened when politely declining the invitation to tell their story would have ended in an acquittal. The mere happening of an accident does not give rise to an inference of recklessness in Virginia (outside of Dinwiddie).
Excessive Speeding Is A Form Of Reckless Driving
One area where the law is more rigid is reckless driving by speed as defined by Virginia Code Section 46.2-862. This states that anyone going 20 mph over the posted speed limit or anyone going over 85 mph regardless of the posted speed limit is guilty of reckless driving. The range of likely penalties for this offense is vast and based on the circumstances. Speeds in excess of 90 mph can often lead to active jail time.
On the other hand, less severe violations can often be reduced to infractions or dismissed pursuant to completion of a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)-approved driver improvement course. No matter how serious the offense is, there are usually ways to mitigate the situation to get a more favorable outcome. But it is difficult to achieve these results on your own. It often takes the knowledge, legal skills and aggressive advocacy of experienced attorneys like us.
Contact Us Today And Discuss Your Legal Options For Free
At The Law Office of Maury & Krol, PLLC, we offer aggressive defense representation to clients in the Roanoke metro area. If you’ve been charged with reckless driving, you can count on us to give you a frank assessment of what you’re up against and discuss how we can help. To schedule your free consultation, reach out online or call us at 804-529-3647.