The Commonwealth of Virginia is strict when it comes to traffic laws. What may be considered a simple civil traffic infraction in the surrounding states could be deemed a criminal offense in Virginia.
Virginia Reckless Driving Speeding
Virginia Code Section 46.2-862 provides that "A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth: (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit." Accordingly, driving 75 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone is reckless driving.
No Actual Requirement to Show Recklessness
As you can see, there is no requirement that the driver actually endanger anyone or drive in an actual reckless manner. Nor is there any requirement that the driver have knowledge of their speed, or intend to drive at that speed.
Virginia Reckless Driving Penalties
It is scary to think that you can be charged with a crime for simple speeding.
Not only will you be considered a criminal if you are found guilty, but you might also have to deal with the following issues:
- Loss of your driver's license;
- Up to $2,500 in fines, plus court costs;
- Incarceration of up to a year in jail;
- A permanent criminal record, even if you have never previously committed a crime in your life;
- An unclean background check;
- Possible problems with your security clearance and/or access to certain Federal buildings for work purposes;
- Increased auto and life insurance rates;
- The embarrassment of being found guilty of the same level of misdemeanor (Class 1) as those that sell drugs or commit theft.
Do Not Let a Virginia Reckless Driving Charge Damage the Rest of Your Life
The fact that you have been charged with reckless driving does not mean that you will be automatically convicted. In many situations an experienced Fairfax reckless driving speeding defense lawyer can advise you on what steps to take prior to court. The lawyer can then use what you have done to approach the prosecutor and attempt to negotiate the charge down to a non-criminal, non-reckless infraction. This cannot be done in every situation, but in many it can. However, it is important that you hire the right attorney to handle your case, rather than just hiring any attorney.
Hiring a Fairfax County reckless driving attorney that previously prosecuted in the same court and dedicates his practice to Fairfax can be one of the best steps you can take to prevent a criminal conviction. It is important to remember that not all attorneys have the same level of experience in handling these types of cases. Not only did attorney Kyle Manikas previously serve as a Fairfax County prosecutor, but he has handled thousands of cases on both sides of the system in Fairfax.
If you are facing a reckless driving charge and are anxious about your future, then call 703-556-0004 or use the Contact Us page to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Kyle Manikas will analyze your case from the perspective of a former prosecutor who has an inside understanding of the Fairfax system you will face.