You hear the sirens and see the lights behind you. You start pulling over hoping the cop flies by you. You knew you shouldn’t have been driving so fast but maybe you’ll get lucky.
Not this time though. You are pulled over and there’s nothing you can do at this point. The cop is writing you up for speeding. Now, you’re facing reckless driving charges.
This is not a good place to be but there’s little you can do to change it. The best thing you can do is hire a Fairfax criminal attorney.
A lawyer will walk you through your case at the Fairfax County Traffic Court and will help you create a defense strategy. Continue reading if you want to know what to expect from your case and the best ways to prepare for it.
Reckless Driving Is a Crime in Virginia
Virginia is a state that takes driving crimes seriously. In fact, reckless driving in Virginia is a Class 1 Misdemeanor crime.
For you to get a reckless driving charge, you would have to travel at 20 mph over the posted speed limit. You can also get charged with reckless driving if you commit any of the following offenses:
- Passing a car while traveling around a curve
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Traveling too fast in poor weather conditions
- Driving in any manner that is unsafe
A misdemeanor stays on your criminal record for life, and it is a crime that involves punishments. It is also a crime that could potentially affect your driving privileges and auto insurance.
The Consequences Are Subjective at the Fairfax County Traffic Court
At this point, you’re probably thinking that you have no chance at getting any type of good news about this charge you’re facing but that is not necessarily true.
The judges who hear traffic citation cases at the county traffic court are subjective with these cases. In other words, they view each one individually.
The judges have the power to choose how to proceed with cases, the verdict of the cases, and the consequences for the defendants. This is the TOP reason you need a criminal defense attorney.
When you choose to have an attorney represent you, his or her experience and strategy could make all the difference in the world. While you may receive the most severe punishment possible, there is a much better chance you will not.
The most severe punishments you could face for reckless driving include:
- Fines that could be up to $2,500
- Up to one year of jail time
- Loss of driver’s license
- Addition of 6 points to your driver’s license
These are pretty steep, don’t you think?
The good news is that not everyone facing reckless driving will end up with these punishments, but it is important to know how serious this charge is.
Your Lawyer’s Defense Strategy Has Huge Effects
Understanding the severity of reckless driving is important and knowing the potential consequences is also important, but there is something more important to know – how do you get these charges dropped or reduced?
Well, the truth is that you probably will not have a good chance at getting the charges dropped or reduced if you appear at court yourself and decide to go it alone.
With a lawyer, though, you might have a chance.
A criminal lawyer will create a defense strategy to use in court when you appear before a judge. The right defense strategy could result in a lot of great benefits for you.
Here are some options your lawyer might use when fighting your case:
- Your spotless driving record – Is your driving record clear, perfect, and free of violations? If so, this is a great defense for you. If you’ve always been a perfect driver, this incident could just be a fluke.
- Issues with the calibration of your speedometer – Has your speedometer acted up lately? If you can prove that it is faulty, this is an ideal defense.
- Proof of major emergency – If your speeding was due to a true, real-life emergency, proving it to the judge might get you off the hook.
- You were barely over the limit – If you were going 21 mph over the limit, you might have a better chance of getting the charges reduced because you barely fell into the category of reckless driving.
The judge who hears your case will take these types of factors into consideration when trying and deciding your case. With the right defense, the judge could do several things that would benefit you.
One option the judge has is to reduce the charges to a basic traffic ticket. You would have to pay the ticket and it would appear on your record, but a basic traffic ticket is not a criminal charge.
The judge could decide to drop the charges altogether if there is enough evidence to prove that it was a once-in-a-lifetime issue or was due to an emergency situation.
If nothing else, the judge could still charge you with the Class 1 Misdemeanor of reckless driving but could give you minimum consequences for the charge. This could mean smaller fines, a shorter revocation of your license, and no jail time.
One side note – it is harder to fight reckless driving charges if you have a criminal history that contains other types of driving offenses. This is especially true for a person with lingering pending charges.
Don’t Wait – Make the Call Today
Now that you know what to expect from reckless driving charges, you probably know you don’t want to handle your violation alone.
Fortunately, legal help is just a phone call away.
You will have to appear at the Fairfax County Traffic Court shortly after getting your citation, and you won’t want to show up without a lawyer so don’t wait too long.
Contact our office today to get the legal help you need. You can also visit our blog to learn more about reckless driving charges.