Prince William County Reckless Driving By Speed
There are several kinds of reckless driving in Virginia, however the most common one involves driving 20 miles an hour or more over the speed limit or driving 80 miles an hour or more regardless of the speed limit. If a person’s speed matches or exceeds either of these numbers, it is considered to be reckless driving in Virginia and is considered a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2500 fine, as well as a six-month loss of driving privileges. Therefore if accused, it is imperative you consult with a Prince William County reckless driving lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and begin building a defense.
Importance of Hiring An Attorney
It’s important to hire a Prince William County lawyer in a reckless speeding case for a number of reasons. First, it is a criminal offense, meaning that if you are convicted, it would end up on your permanent criminal record. This sort of thing can affect a commercial driver’s license, a security clearance, or simply job prospects in the future.
In addition, a reckless driving conviction might cause your insurance premium to spike, or you might even be dropped from insurance. Furthermore, depending on how serious the case is—often determined by how fast you were going as well as your existing record—this kind of matter can trigger license suspension and active jail time.
Are There Any Legal Excuses For Reckless Driving By Speed?
There are no valid legal reasons to be driving at those speeds in Prince William County. However, whenever someone is charged with reckless driving by speed, he or she will be dealing with both the prosecutor and the judge, and it may be possible to demonstrate mitigating circumstances.
If there was an actual emergency unfolding when the speeding occurred, this will often serve as a mitigating factor in your case, which will help in negotiating a plea agreement as well as before a judge.
Severity of Reckless By Speed Charges
Reckless driving by speed is not a less severe form of reckless driving than other types. In fact it, it may be the most severe kind of reckless driving with regard to the punishments that are often given. Reckless driving is always a class 1 misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in jail, six months’ loss of license and a $2500 fine. The cases that most frequently trigger actual jail time are those in which a person is driving at a very high speed and also has a bad driving record.
Impact on Commercial Drivers
Reckless driving by speed can definitely affect someone’s commercial driver’s license, and in many cases, a conviction under this statute will cause at least a temporary loss of the CDL privileges under Virginia law. CDLs are issued by DMV and they are also revoked by DMV. While a Virginia court does not have the ability to suspend your commercial driver’s license, if you accrue enough points on your record or your commercial driver’s license is new enough, Virginia DMV may determine on its own to suspend your commercial driver’s license, either temporarily or permanently.
It’s important to review your driving record with your Prince William County reckless driving attorney if you hold a CDL to try to avoid an outcome that might affect your ability to continue to hold that license.
Steps to Building a Defense
To help you with a reckless driving case, an attorney’s first task will typically be to determine the severity of the charge. Reckless driving in Prince William County can become more serious depending on the speed and the driver’s existing record. That is, the faster you’re going and the more previous offenses you have, the more serious your charge is likely to be.
Reckless speeding cases in which the individual is just barely into the range of reckless driving will require different steps than a case in which the speed was more than a hundred miles an hour and the driver has a long list of previous infractions, for example. Some common steps in any reckless driving case include obtaining a driving history and ordering a speedometer calibration. In some cases, the driver will complete a driver improvement course and possibly community service.