Reckless Driving in Virginia: What to Expect in CourtSwango Law P.C
So you were reckless … and you were driving. You were going 25 miles per hour over the speed limit, and you barely dodged a mini-van that changed lanes in front of you.
A Virginia State Trooper saw the whole thing. He pulled you over and wrote a ticket. He handed you the reckless driving ticket and told you to remember your court date. You’re scared. You’re overwhelmed. What should you do?
Virginia Reckless Driving Laws
Virginia, like many states, has a point system for traffic violations. When you get stopped for speeding, for instance, the number of points or demerits you receive depends on how fast you were going. If you were going 3 miles an hour over the speed limit, you’ll face considerably less penalties than if you were going 20 miles per hour faster.
Reckless driving violations can add up to 6 points to your driving record. That’s the highest amount of demerits that can be added for a single traffic offense. Your license can also be suspended and you could face jail time if your violations are egregious enough.
What Is Considered Reckless Driving?
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles lists the most severe reckless driving offenses on their website. They include the following violations:
- Speeding 20 mph over the listed limit
- General reckless driving
- Reckless driving while your view is obstructed
- Reckless driving in a parking lot
- Reckless driving with faulty brakes and improper control
- Reckless driving and failing to give a proper signal
- Reckless driving and going too fast given the conditions
- Reckless driving and driving two vehicles abreast
- Reckless driving and passing two vehicles abreast
- Reckless driving and passing at a railroad crossing
- Reckless driving and passing on the crest of a hill
- Reckless driving and passing a school bus
- Reckless driving and passing an emergency vehicle
- Reckless driving and racing
- Reckless driving and speeding 20 miles or more per hour over the limit
- Reckless driving and speeding over 80 miles per hour
As you can see, there are no shortage of infractions for which you can be charged with reckless driving. All of these offenses stay on your DMV record for 11 years, except speeding 20 mph over the posted speed limit. If this isn’t accompanied by other reckless driving violations, it will only remain on your record for 5 years.
Regardless, 5 years is a long time, and 11 years is more than a decade. These are serious penalties. If you’re ticketed for reckless driving, you have a serious problem. What can you do? You need to hire a serious attorney.
How Can a Reckless Driving Lawyer Help?
Lawyers…you may not love them, but in circumstances like these, you need them. While they may not be able to get you out of your ticket, they may be able to reduce the charges. They may also be the only person who can prevent your license from being suspended.
They will communicate with the police department, judges, and the Virginia DMV. In some cases, they’ve been able to substitute points on your license or an outright suspension by signing you up for the Virginia Driver Improvement Course. This may not be available to you, if it is an option, your lawyer is the best person to make it happen.
Reckless Driving in Virginia and Out-of-state Drivers
If you’re not from Virginia, but you’re pulled over while visiting, don’t panic. Of course your situation isn’t ideal, but you have options.
You can request a verbal continuance, but this must be made in person, on your court date. Out-of-state drivers have another option—filing a written request. They must do this at least two business days prior to their scheduled court date and the continuation request must include the following:
- Your full name and address
- Police officer’s name
- Court date
- Reason for the continuance request
On your court date, the judge will decide whether or not to grant your request or to proceed with the trial. If the judge agrees with you, you’ll be asked to appear at a later date. If the judge disagrees, your trial could take place without you, and you could face additional penalties and fines. Don’t go it alone – trust an experienced Virginia reckless driving attorney to handle your continuance.
Call the Reckless Driving Defense Attorneys Hampton Roads Trusts
After you’re ticketed for reckless driving, but before you panic, call Swango Law P.C. More specifically, find an attorney with over a decade of experience fighting reckless driving charges. If you’re in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, or anywhere in Hampton Roads, call Swango Law’s Virginia Beach office at 757-383-9229. You and your lawyer will determine what penalties you’re facing and together you’ll come up with a plan to fight your reckless driving charge.