This is the second of four articles on Reckless Driving by Speed in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As previously noted, most traffic enforcement police officers write hundreds of Reckless Driving charges. Any person going greater than 19 mph over the speed limit or going faster than 80 mph can be charged with the Class 1 Misdemeanor of Reckless Driving by Speed. And if your speed is 25+ over the limit, you should hire a Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax County because you face a conviction for a Class 1 Misdemeanor and may lose your license, pay a hefty fine and even go to jail at high speeds.
The previous article discussed Reckless Driving charges where a person is only doing 20-25 mph over the limit and has a great driving record. This article talks about people going 25-35 mph over the limit (e.g. 80-90 mph in a 55 mph zone). In the last article, I mentioned that you may not need a lawyer if you have a great driving record and are going only 20-25 mph above the limit. However, I highly recommend retaining an attorney if you do not have a good driving record. And even if you have a perfect record, if you are doing 25-35 mph over the limit, you really should have an attorney. Here is why: A Reckless Driving by Speed is a Class 1 Misdemeanor. The maximum punishment is one year in jail, a $2,500 fine and 6 months loss of license. To be honest, at speeds of 25-35 mph over the limit with a good driving record, jail is rare. Even if you do not hire an attorney, at this speed and with a good record, it would be out of the ordinary for a Judge to give you jail. But if you go into court without a lawyer, it is highly likely that a Judge will find you guilty of Reckless and give you a suspended license from 3-6 months. If you want a chance of getting your charge reduced from Reckless to Speeding, you need to hire a Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax County. Moreover, even if getting the charge reduced to Speeding is not possible (e.g. you get a tough prosecutor or Judge that day, or your driving record is not very good), you need a lawyer to help protect your right to drive. License suspensions are very common at speeds of 25-35 mph over the limit.
In Fairfax County, Prosecutors will not talk to Defendants. Prosecutors only talk to attorneys. Thus, unless you have an attorney, there is no way to get a “Plea Deal.” If you hire an attorney, on the day of court, your attorney will be able to have a private conversation with the Prosecutor before your case comes up in front of the Judge. At this meeting, your attorney can show the Prosecutor your great driving record and try to convince the Prosecutor that you deserve a break and ask that the charge be amended from Reckless Driving – a Class 1 Misdemeanor, to Speeding – a mere traffic infraction. If your record is not so good, getting it reduced to Speeding will be tough. Now you are in “damage control” mode where you need to avoid jail, and be able to drive your car. You experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax County will have advised you to attend an in-person safe driving school. Armed with a successful completion of traffic school, your attorney can normally negotiate either no license suspension, or if the Prosecutor and/or Judge wants a suspension, get you a restricted license that allows you to drive to and from work, drive during work for work purposes, to and from school, to and from child care, to and from job interviews, to and from medical appointments, and some other categories.
In summary, if you have a Reckless Driving by Speed, and if you were traveling between 25-35 mph over the limit, even if you go into court without a lawyer, jail is rare. But if you have a bad driving record, or want the best chance of getting the Reckless Class 1 Misdemeanor reduced to the mere traffic infraction of speeding, you will want to retain an attorney. The attorney can help negotiate a Plea Deal with the Prosecutor which will hopefully reduce the charge to Speeding. And for people with regulated careers (e.g. truck driver, doctor, security clearance) you will want to hire a Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax County to try your best to get the Reckless dropped down to a non-Misdemeanor, like Speeding.