Reckless driving is whenever someone drives a motor vehicle in a way that recklessly endangers the life, limb, or property of someone (including the driver themself). This is the way that reckless driving is defined in general, but there are a total of 15 different reckless driving statutes in the Virginia traffic code, 14 of which define different forms of reckless driving much more specifically than the general definition. The specific elements of reckless driving vary depending on which of the various forms of reckless driving is charged under the state traffic code or local ordinance code in a Brunswick County case.
Reckless driving is always a Class 1 misdemeanor charge in Virginia, and it carries significant penalties. If you are facing charges, reach out to a Brunswick County reckless driving lawyer today. Let an experienced criminal attorney fight for you.
There are many different statutes and scenarios under which one can be charged with reckless driving. The most common type of scenario is reckless driving by speed, but there are also many other kinds of common scenarios including improperly passing a stopped school bus, driving with faulty brakes, failing to use proper turn signals, and street racing.
In Brunswick County, speed alone can constitute reckless driving if one is observed traveling at any speed above 80 mph, and/or if one is observed exceeding the posted speed limit by 20 mph or more regardless of what that posted speed limit is.
If one is convicted of reckless driving, the conviction will always carry a fixed amount of demerit points with the Virginia DMV, court costs with the convicting court, and a permanent misdemeanor conviction entry on one’s criminal record. This conviction will also remain visible on the person’s Virginia driving record for 11 years. Beyond these guaranteed aspects of punishment, reckless driving penalties can further include jail time, high fines, and months of license suspension. An individual facing these penalties should get in touch with a reckless driving lawyer in Brunswick County right away.
Reckless driving will add six negative points (demerit points) to one’s driver point balance with the Virginia DMV if the person is a licensed Virginia driver. If the driver is licensed elsewhere, the amount of demerit points another state assigns for a Virginia reckless driving conviction (if any) varies widely.
All forms of reckless driving can be punishable by up to six months of license suspension by the court. Some forms of reckless driving, such as racing, can be punishable by multiple years of license suspension by the court. If a person is unlicensed or is a nonresident of Virginia at the time of conviction, the court must order at least 60 days of license suspension.
Also, a reckless driving conviction will always negatively impact a driver’s automobile insurance policy in terms of the magnitude of premiums, deductibles, and eligibilities.
A reckless driving charge could severely impact a commercial driver’s license. Many CDL holders work for employers who will or must terminate employees who incur driving-related criminal convictions, whether felony or misdemeanor, or whether it involved an actual commercial vehicle. Even if such a conviction does not trigger any employment termination conditions, it can still lead to employment suspensions. Also, it can also dramatically worsen a CDL’s auto insurance expenses, such that the employee becomes too costly for their employers to deem worth the expense over another hire who has better insurance rates due to a better driving record. If the conviction leads to a license suspension, the CDL holder will also be precluded from doing business in Virginia for a considerable period of time, which can significantly affect available travel routes for business.
It is crucial to work with a local attorney for a Brunswick County reckless driving charge because these cases often come down to the particular stances of particular prosecutors and judges. Local defense attorneys who know and litigate with these parties on a daily basis are in the best position to navigate toward or away from particular people, arguments, and evidence as the case may necessitate in order to get the best outcome. Attorneys who are not familiar with the particularities of Brunswick County, but just have a general approach to reckless driving cases based on practicing elsewhere, can be easily surprised or shut down by some of the arbitrary conventions in reckless driving cases. Contact a Brunswick County reckless driving lawyer today.