If you have been charged with Reckless Driving in Virginia ...
You have probably figured out by now that Reckless Driving is a much more serious charge than you originally thought. Instead of a simple speeding ticket, Reckless Driving in Virginia is considered a criminal offense, a Class 1 misdemeanor in fact. The consequence of a conviction for Reckless Driving can include a criminal record, heavy fines, and sometimes even jail time and up six months suspension of your driver's license or privilege to drive. An experienced Northern Virginia Reckless Driving defense lawyer can often help you avoid or minimize most of those consequences.
Do I really need to hire a lawyer for my Reckless Driving case?
The answer to that question depends on the circumstances of the case, the jurisdiction you are charged in, and whether you are willing risk a criminal conviction when it may be easily avoidable. If you are charged with Reckless Driving in Fairfax County, for example, the prosecutors will not even negotiate with you if you do not have a lawyer. This means that your fate rests entirely with the judge. In Reckless Driving by Speeding cases where the speed is not too high (less than 85 mph for example), a few judges will reduce the charge to a traffic infraction (speeding or improper driving) on their own, even for defendants who show up without an attorney. Other judges, however, routinely convict people who don't have lawyers of the criminal offense of reckless driving. Some will even impose a license suspension in such cases.
What will happen if you hire a lawyer to represent you on your Reckless Driving case? While criminal and traffic defense attorneys are not allowed to offer anything like a "guarantee", we can say that in over ten years of representing people charged with Reckless Driving by Speed in all Northern Virginia state and federal courts, our defense attorneys have never represented a single person driving less than 85 mph (in a 55 or 65 mph zone) who did not have their charge reduced to from a criminal offense to a traffic infraction. These have been our results in those types of cases: no criminal record; no jail time; no license suspension.
High Speed Reckless Driving Cases
In cases of Reckless Driving by speed between 85-90 mph, or speeding in excess of 35 mph in lower speed zones, it will be much more difficult to get the charged reduced to a non-criminal traffic infraction. Nevertheless, our lawyers have had a great deal of success in these cases. Often it helps if the defendant takes some steps before court to help mitigate the offense. Depending on the jurisdiction, getting your speedometer calibrated and/or taking a driver improvement course ("traffic school"), combined with the mere fact that you took the time and expense to hire a lawyer, can go a long way in convincing the prosecutor and judge that you take the matter seriously and have learned your lesson.
Reckless Driving Accident Cases
Some police officers will charge anyone they deem to be at fault in a traffic accident with the crime of Reckless Driving, even in cases in which the driving behavior was only negligent at best. Our reckless driving defense lawyers understand that sometimes accidents just happen - and they should not all result in a criminal conviction. Fortunately, most prosecutors and judges understand this as well, and our attorneys have usually been successful in getting these types of Reckless Driving cases reduced to the simple traffic infraction of Improper Driving (a 3 point offense).
Extremely High Speed Reckless Cases > 90 mph
It comes as a shock to most people that you can go to jail for speeding, but that is exactly what happens to most defendants charged with Reckless Driving for going more than 90 mh in Northern Virginia. Particularly in Fairfax County, the general rule applied by most judges has long been one day in jail for every mile an hour over 90. In addition, these types of Reckless Driving cases usually result in 6 month suspended license. Avoiding these consequences is an uphill battle, even for skilled and experienced traffic court defense lawyers, but it can be done. For more information on the possibilities of defending or mitigating these Reckless Driving charges, contact our office today.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
To contact one of our trusted Reckless Driving defense attorneys today, call us at 703-763-0979 or send us an e-mail.
Our office is located near the Fairfax County courthouse. We are open for appointments Monday through Friday, and available by phone and e-mail seven days a week.
Spanish language service is available.