Culpeper Reckless Driving Lawyer
In Virginia, there are numerous reasons a driver may be accused of driving recklessly, and some may come as a surprise to those who find themselves facing the charge. If you or a loved one have been charged with reckless driving, a Culpeper reckless driving lawyer can help by looking into the circumstances that led to the charge and examining the evidence against you.
Our Culpeper reckless driving attorneys understand that with Virginia’s busy highways, heavy commuter traffic, winding scenic roadways, and unpredictable weather, there are many situations that arise in which a driver may be faced with making a tough, immediate decision between two or more less-than-ideal outcomes. We are here to investigate the circumstances that led the charges and fight for you in court, constantly striving for a reduction or dismissal of your charges.
Call our law firm today to speak with a criminal lawyer in Culpeper and get to work on planning your defense.
Common Reckless Driving Charges in Virginia
The reasons a person can be charged with reckless driving are so broad that almost any highway incident could potentially result in a reckless driving charge, at the discretion of the officer on the scene.
Traveling at a speed of more than 80 miles per hour is one common violation that results in a reckless driving charge. Driving more than 20 mph faster than any speed limit can also land a driver with a reckless driving charge—even in areas where the speed limit is as low as 25 miles per hour.
This means that a driver going as slow as 45 miles per hour could potentially face a reckless driving charge. When speed limits change quickly, this can seem especially unfair. If you have been charged with reckless driving, our Culpeper reckless driving attorneys are ready to fight to keep your driving record clear.
Excessive Speed for Conditions
Reckless driving charges may also occur when an officer believes a driver was going too quickly for the road or weather conditions, or under the circumstances at the time. This is extremely subjective and leaves the door open for a reckless driving charge to be levied against a driver who never exceeded the speed limit at all. Drivers accused of operating their vehicle in a dangerous manner on a highway, or near a school, church, business, government property, recreation facility, or parking lot or structure may also be charged with reckless driving.
Other Reckless Driving Charges
Other reasons for a reckless driving charge include passing unsafely, passing an emergency vehicle or school bus improperly, having too many passengers in a vehicle, not signaling properly, driving a vehicle that is in disrepair, has faulty brakes or is uncontrollable, failing to share the roadway properly, and driving with an obstructed view.
No matter the circumstances that led to your reckless driving charge, a Virginia reckless driving lawyer can help.
Penalties in Virginia for Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor under Virginia Code 46.2-852 and is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and $2500 in fines. While these are the maximum penalties which are rarely imposed, drivers are often surprised to learn that, depending on their speed and driving record, a reckless driving charge can in fact trigger and active jail sentence, hefty fine, and license suspension. Even drivers with perfect records can find themselves behind bars if they are convicted of traveling at a high enough rate of speed.
If a driver receives a reckless driving charge while driving without a valid license and another person was killed by the driver’s reckless conduct, the charge increases to felony involuntary manslaughter punishable by up to five years in prison.
Driving recklessly while using a handheld device, such as a phone, GPS, cell phone, or other devices, requires a mandatory minimum penalty of $250 fine in addition to the standard penalties. As of July 1, 2015, texting or reading a text while driving has become a primary offense in Virginia, meaning that law enforcement officers can pull you over for that alone. It is anticipated that many of these stops will result in a reckless driving charge as well.
Reckless driving convictions also add 6 points against a driver’s license, which can possibly lead to a license suspension, depending on how many DMV points are already attributed to the driver’s license.
One of the worst consequences of reckless driving, however, is the dramatic increase in insurance premiums it almost invariably causes for a number of years after the conviction. In some cases, drivers find themselves dropped by their insurance carrier altogether as a result.
Consult an Experienced Culpeper Reckless Driving Lawyer
There are many effective defense strategies that can be employed to help reduce or dismiss reckless driving charges. Our Culpeper reckless driving lawyers have experience fighting reckless driving charges, negotiating with prosecutors, and pursuing reduced or dismissed charges. If you have been charged, your Culpeper reckless driving attorney can work to mount a strong defense on your behalf. Call today for your free initial consultation.