This article is the last of four articles on the charge of Reckless Driving by Speed. In this article, we discuss the absolute necessity of hiring an experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax County for a charge of Reckless where the speed is 45+ mph over the speed limit.
Quite often I have clients come to me who have never been in trouble before. They have not even been to the Principle’s office in elementary school. Never, never, never in their life did they ever think they would spend even one second in jail. Then, one day, they decided to buy a Porsche 911 or a Ducati motorcycle. On a nice Spring day with no one around, they open up the throttle to feel the power of their new toy. No one on the road – except for that State Trooper who clocks them driving 100 mph in a 55 mph zone. Believe it or not, jail is an extremely common punishment at this speed. Thus, hiring a lawyer is an absolute necessity.
First, let me say that unless the Police Officer’s radar, laser or speedometer is not properly calibrated, going to trial and winning a case like this is extremely difficult. Thus, a conviction is inevitable. What you need a lawyer for is “damage control.” The goal for an experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax County would be keeping you out of jail or keeping the jail to a minimum and getting a restricted license to allow you to still work and care for your family.
As stated in previous articles, Reckless Driving by Speed is defined as going faster than 19 mph above the limit or any time you are going faster than 80 mph. When a person is going 45 mph above the limit, they are going double the 20+ mph minimum speed threshold for Reckless. Most Judges and Prosecutors have an unwritten rule that they always give jail at speeds greater than 100 mph. If jail is something you cannot live with, then the only solution is to go to trial before a Jury. Let me take a moment to explain this. In Virginia, your first trial is in General District Court. This is a trial only before a Judge. If you do not like the result in the General District Court, you can appeal the case to Circuit Court. In Circuit Court, there is a right to a Jury. You will be assigned a jury of 8 people. In Virginia, juries not only find guilt or innocence, but they also set the punishment. So, if you are going faster than 100 mph, and the Judge has an unwritten rule of always giving jail at speeds of 100+, then your only chance of avoiding jail is by having a trial by jury, and having your experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax County argue to the jury that jail is not an appropriate punishment. Could the jury still give you jail? Yes, they can give up to a year. So this plan is not full proof. But in my experience, juries sentence light on crimes that they have committed themselves. If you have some jurors who have gone 100 mph before, they will be much less likely to assess jail.
A good outcome for a case where a person is traveling 100+ mph is a few days in jail and a suspended license for 6 months. For many Judges, their unwritten rule is a day in jail for every mph over 90 in a 55 mph zone. So a normal outcome at 100 mph would be 10 days in jail. But you are not hiring a lawyer to get you a “normal outcome.” While lawyers can never guarantee a particular result, in the above example, if your lawyer can get you 5 days instead of 10 days, he cut your normal punishment in ½! In addition, if you need a license or you lose your job, then your attorney can often convince a Judge that “… while this is a serious offense and some jail may be appropriate, the punishment should not include my client losing his job and thus losing his house and being unable to feed his family…” If you must drive for work, your Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax County can work to convince the Judge or Prosecutor to still allow you to driving on a restricted license for things such as going to and from work, during work for work purposes, to and from school, to and from child care, and some other categories.