Reckless driving is legally defined as a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of those who you are sharing the road with or other people’s property. When a driver is charged with reckless driving, it is because they have shown a total disregard for the state’s traffic laws. This disregard may or may not have caused a person to be injured or property to be damaged, but it is not required in order for the driver to be charged.
Each state has its own laws regarding reckless driving. Some states refer to offenses as careless driving or dangerous driving. Because reckless driving offenses are so serious, they are not cited as traffic offenses, but instead result in the arrest of the driver, who is charged with a misdemeanor. A conviction means the driver faces up to 12 months in a county jail and up to $2,500 in fines.
If the offense was egregious, the driver could be charged with a felony. For example, if a driver was engaging in a reckless driving offense that resulted in a car crash that injured the other driver, the offending driver cold be charged with a felony. If convicted, the driver could face a minimum of one year in a state prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
Some examples of common reckless driving offenses include:
- Driving more than 25 m.p.h. over the posted speed limit
- Passing another vehicle when visibility of oncoming traffic is limited
- Illegal passing
- Racing another vehicle
- Trying to elude a law enforcement officer
Defenses to Reckless Driving Charges
If a driver has been charged with reckless driving, there are defenses that a reckless driving attorney in Virginia can use to defend the driver. These include:
- Location: If a driver was near a jurisdiction boundary, such as city lines, there could be a question of whether the officer who charged the driver had the authority to do so.
- Road: If the driver reckless driving offense took place on a private road or in a gated community, the police officer may not have been able to charge the driver because the road was not a public road or highway.
- Radar Calibration: If a driver is charged with reckless driving because of excessive speed, the device the police officer used must have been properly calibrated and working properly on the day the driver was charged. The reckless driving charge lawyer in VA may be able to question whether the device had a valid calibration certificate that adheres to statutory requirements. There may also be a question as to whether the officer used the device correctly.
Contact a Reckless Driving Charge Lawyer in VA for Help Today
If you have been charged with reckless driving, you are not just facing the prospect of paying a fine. You may be facing jail or prison time. A misdemeanor or felony conviction can have a major impact on your future, including where you can work, live, or obtain an education.
At Dave Albo, our legal team can help defend you against reckless driving charges or any other traffic offenses you are facing. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation with a reckless driving charge lawyer in VA clients trust and find out how we can help.