If you end up as an unfortunate recipient of a ticket in Virginia, you need to assess what you’re charged with. If it’s just a regular speeding ticket, you can choose to pay it in order to dismiss your charges rather than getting in contact with a lawyer. However, if you’re charged for reckless driving, it’s extremely important that you react to the ticket carefully, as reckless driving in Virginia is considered a Class One misdemeanor, which is the same as getting charged for DUI (Driving Under Influence)
People often misinterpret reckless driving charges, and aren’t aware that they’re getting indicted for a felony, as the officers simply write “RD” on the ticket. Therefore, it’s important to confirm what the ticket you got is actually for, as getting convicted for reckless driving can pose various threats and people regularly face consequences like going to jail, their driver’s license getting suspended or revoked and also a criminal record.
As it can result in a permanent criminal record that can cause additional damages in the future, it is important to understand that complying and paying the ticket and accepting a conviction for reckless driving in Virginia should never be your first resort. A lot of people try to get their convictions expunged later on, only to realize that it’s completely impossible.
In order to convict someone of reckless driving, the Commonwealth must provide proof that the driver was driving a motor vehicle in a way that endangered life. If the conviction is inevitable, your goal should be to get your charges reduced as much as possible. In general, it would be possible to reason with the judges, especially in counties like Spotsylvania, Stafford, King George and Fredericksburg, where they employ substantial discretion, if the reckless driving was a consequence of the speedometer reading incorrectly, radar calibration issues or a legitimate emergency. A good driving record can also help maneuver the case in your favor.
The best way to fight against the charge is to contact an experienced traffic attorney who can explain you the laws corresponding with your case, analyze the factual details of your case in particular and review all the options you have to strategize a defense and evaluate the likely result. Understanding the factual details of your case would help you decide which approach to pursue.
If you can demonstrate your lack of culpability, your reckless driving charge can also get altered to “improper driving” which isn’t considered a misdemeanor and is a mere traffic infraction. This can result in your fine getting reduced to nothing more than $500 and would mark only 3 demerit points in your record, which stop being valid after three years. A practiced attorney can help you with that by assessing your case and help provide evidence for your blamelessness so that your penalty can get significantly reduced and your fine drops to an acceptable amount.