What are the punishments for Reckless Driving by Speed in Fairfax County Virginia at a speed of 80 – 85 mph in a 55 mph zone?
In Virginia, a Reckless Driving is technically a crime. Most people cannot believe that they could be convicted of a crime for merely driving 20 mph over the speed limit. That is why you should contact an experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax VA to see what you are facing.
An honest attorney should first tell you that while a Reckless Driving conviction is a Class 1 Misdemeanor crime (punishable by up to one year in jail, up to a $2500 fine and up to 6 months license suspension), it does not go on a criminal record. One of the biggest fallacies on the internet is false claims that a Reckless will go on your criminal record. It will not. Reckless, along with some other traffic misdemeanors, is a non-reportable crime. If you do not already have a criminal record, then even if you are convicted of Reckless, it will not go on your criminal record. (Note: If you get convicted of Reckless and get jail, and have a previous criminal record, it does go on.) I know this is contrary to what you read on most internet sites, but take it from a guy who served as the Chairman of the Virginia House of Delegates Courts of Justice (“Judiciary”) Committee longer than any person in the 300+ year history of that committee (me). I have done the research and personally conversed with the State Police Officer responsible for entering criminal offense convictions into the Computer Criminal Records Exchange (“CCRE”).
Note, however, that it is still a crime. So, if you are in a regulated profession where you may be asked, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?”, if you were convicted of a Reckless Driving, you would have to answer “Yes.” This is why may people in Northern Virginia hire an experienced Reckless Driving lawyer Fairfax VA. Many of our clients have security clearances or are in regulated professions like law, finance, medicine, or any other profession that requires a license. These people do not want to have to answer “Yes, I have been convicted of a crime” anytime their certifications come up for renewal or if their licensing requires reporting criminal convictions.
The original point of this article was to explain the punishments for a Reckless at speeds of 80-85 mph in a 55 mph zone. (Note: This article assumes that you have no legitimate defense. A good attorney will determine up front whether you can win at trial. If the odds of winning are slim, then your attorney will do his best to lower the punishments.) The answer depends upon whether you hire an experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax VA, what your driving record is like, and what Judge you get. In Fairfax, Prosecutors will not talk to individual defendants. They only talk to attorneys. So, without a lawyer, you have no way of asking a Prosecutor to lower your charge to Speeding. Thus, if you don’t have a lawyer, you have to try your luck directly in front of the Judge when your case is called. If you have a good driving record, (e.g. no previous serious offenses and maybe just one or two traffic infractions over the past 10 years), the odds that you will get even one second in jail are slim. And, usually, you will be able to talk the judge out of suspending your license. So, if you have a great DMV record and don’t really have to worry about having a Reckless conviction, perhaps save money and don’t hire an attorney. There is no law that says you have to have an attorney. The problem is that you will most likely get convicted of Reckless. It depends upon what Judge you draw. Many Judges believe their role is just to call “guilty” or “not guilty.” So, if you get one of those Judges who believe his role is to just look at the facts and determine guilt or innocence, even with a perfect driving record, you will get convicted. On the other hand, if you have a perfect record, some Judges on their own will lower the charge to speeding. If I had a crystal ball, I could tell you what is going to happen. But I don’t have one. It is just up to the “luck of the draw.”
What about a person without a great DMV driving record? The biggest advantage of hiring an experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax VA is that your attorney can talk to the Prosecutor. In the above example, your attorney can show the Prosecutor your great driving record, and get the charge reduced to Speeding or Improper Driving (two examples of minor traffic infractions that are not “crimes.”)
If your driving record is not too good, and you don’t want jail, and/or you need to be able to drive, then you really should spend the money on an attorney. As stated above, your attorney can try and get the Prosecutor to lower the charge, or if your record is really bad, your attorney can negotiate a plea agreement that is acceptable to you (e.g. a conviction without jail and without a license suspension.) If the Prosecutor is incalcitrant, then you may be able to get an agreement that allows you to drive for 6 months with a restricted license (e.g. to and from work, child care, school, etc.). And if the Prosecutor is still not working with you and your attorney, an experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax VA will know whether the Judge is good, and if so, can take your case straight to the Judge and get a more reasonable punishment.
If you are going less than 85 and have a perfect record, I usually get a charge reduced to Speeding or Improper Driving. As stated above, there is no law that says you have to have an attorney, so some people try and do it on their own without the help of a Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax VA. If you want the best odds of getting a charge reduced from Reckless – even with a perfect record, I would be honored to assist you. And if your record is not perfect, not only would I be honored to assist you – you really do need an attorney. I served as the Fairfax City District Court Prosecutor in the early 90’s, practiced law defending people in Fairfax Courts for over 30 years, wrote the laws as a representative of the people of Fairfax County in the Virginia House of Delegates for 24 years, and have been selected 5 times each as a Top Attorney by Washingtonian and NOVA Magazines.