Reckless Driving Lawyer Stafford County, VA
A Stafford County, VA reckless driving lawyer knows that reckless driving in Virginia is legally defined as recklessly or carelessly driving in a way that is unsafe for those who you are sharing the road with; driving in a way that endangers another person’s “life, limb, or 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. If you have been charged, contact a reckless driving lawyer Stafford County, VA residents rely on right away.
Consequences of Reckless Driving
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.
One possible result of a conviction could mean the driver faces up to 12 months in jail, up to six months loss of license and a minimum fine of $250.
Some examples of common reckless driving offenses in the state of Virginia include:
- Driving 20 MPH or more over the posted speed limit or faster than 85 MPH (regardless of the speed limit)
- Passing another vehicle when on a curve or at the crest of a hill
- Driving abreast of another car or vehicle in a lane meant for one vehicle
- Passing a school bus that is stopped and allowing passengers on and off (unless on a separate roadway or on a divided highway)
- Engaging in a race with two or more vehicles in Virginia on highways or in certain areas, like public churches and schools (with the exception of property owners allowing it)
While not exhaustive, these are just a few examples of ways in which a person may be driving recklessly.
Defenses to Reckless Driving Charges
If a driver has been charged with reckless driving, there are defenses that a reckless driving charge lawyer 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’s 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. A Stafford County, VA reckless driving lawyer 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 Our Office 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.
Call Dave Albo – Attorney to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Stafford County, VA reckless driving lawyer.
Tried and Tested Experience
When facing a reckless driving charge you need a reckless driving lawyer Stafford County, VA area residents rely on to provide an exceptional level of representation. When it comes to reckless driving charges, the local prosecutors will likely be skilled, doing everything in their power to maximize the penalties. When you hire Dave Albo – Attorney as your defense, you will benefit from his over three decades of experience in all Northern Virginia Courts.
Mr. Albo is well prepared to address any issues that may arise throughout every step of the process of your defense, preparing, negotiating, persuading, and litigating everything himself. He will not simply accept things are and will be as they are, and will try his best to help you achieve the most optimal outcome for your unique reckless driving case. The skills and experience that Mr. Albo possesses eclipse nearly every prosecutor in Virginia.
About Dave Albo – Attorney Experience
- Leading in Virginia and the local Northern Virginia legal community.
- Served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1994 – 2017, and for 12 years.
- He was the longest serving Chairman of the Virginia House Courts of Justice (Judiciary) Committee in the over 300-year history of that committee.
- Handled an estimated 3,000+ cases as a defense attorney
- hands-on real world trial skills, which are difficult to match.
What can I do to help improve the outcome of my defense?
Prior to your court date, there are a number of things you and your defense lawyer can do to help optimize the outcome of your case. If you and your attorney agree that these things would be beneficial, the chances of a reduced charge or dismissal improve.
- Obtain a current, certified copy of your driving record from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. If you are out-of-state, obtain a copy from the state where you are insured from the respective motor vehicle agency. If you are able to demonstrate that you have an otherwise clean driving history, your Virginia reckless driving lawyer can use this information as mitigating evidence in your case.
- We may determine that it would be beneficial to take a driver education or driver improvement course prior to your court date. It is frequently helpful to show that we are taking initiative to become a more responsible and safer driver.
- Vehicle speedometer examination or calibrations may reveal that you were traveling at a higher speed than what the reading indicated. If the results show this, the record can be used as mitigating evidence in your case.
- Consult with Dave Albo – Attorney for advice on the best course of action for the unique needs of your case.
Steps To Take After A Reckless Driving Charge
Reckless driving charges are serious and you probably know at this point that the consequences of such a charge could dramatically impact certain areas of your life, including whether you get jail time, continue to hold a driver’s license, or even get to keep your job. This is why it is vital that you take these charges seriously from the start.
- Don’t ignore your charges. Remember, reckless driving is not just a speeding ticket. The second that police officer hands it to you, you need to start mentally preparing for what is to come. Criminal charges do not simply drop off your record like a speeding ticket so it is important you try to fight these charges.
- Don’t lose your hearing date. Once you get a hearing date for court, do not forget it. Put it on your phone calendar, stick it on your fridge, and set an alarm–or three. If you miss going to court, you could face other serious charges and the judge may issue a warrant for your arrest.
- Call a lawyer ASAP. We are here to help our clients with many different legal needs, including reckless driving charges. While you may be able to get out of a speeding ticket on your own, you do not want to leave your reckless driving charges up to chance. When you are facing criminal charges, work with a lawyer who is confident and understands the court system. A lawyer with reckless driving experience in court will know what kinds of evidence to question and what is valuable to bring to court. You will have a better chance of having your charges lowered or dropped entirely when you work with a lawyer as opposed to representing yourself.
- Have evidence to support your claim. When you are going to court and not pleading guilty, you want to make sure you have evidence to support your claim. When you work with a lawyer, they should prepare you for what to expect in court. It is important that you remain calm and collected in court but not act flippant. Reckless driving is serious and often means that someone was injured or could have been seriously injured or died. This is an important matter and you want to treat it as such.
- Bring your witness. If you had a passenger in the car with you and you believe that their testimony could help sway the judge’s decision in your favor, speak with your lawyer about bringing them into court. It may also be helpful if you have dashcam footage of the accident that can show exactly what happened.
- Appeal the decision. If the judge says that you are guilty of reckless driving, all hope is not lost. Speak with your lawyer about an appeal. Your lawyer will not move forward with an appeal if they do not believe there is strong evidence suggesting that you should not be convinced. If you move forward with an appeal, you will only have a certain amount of time to file one.
What is reckless driving?
As a Stafford County, VA reckless driving lawyer can explain, reckless driving is the act of operating a motor vehicle in a manner that is not safe for you or others on the roadway. The law describes reckless driving as driving that is either wanton or willful disregard for the safety of other people and/or personal property or knowingly. The Virginia statute that addresses reckless driving specifically defines it as driving “on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person” regardless of the posted speed limit.
Is careless driving and reckless driving the same thing?
Reckless driving is not the same as careless driving. Reckless driving describes more dangerous behavior than careless driving and thus, it is charged more severely than careless driving. If you are facing a reckless driving charge, contact an experienced traffic violation defense lawyer as soon as possible to begin working on your defense strategy.
What are some examples of reckless driving?
Many different actions constitute reckless driving. Some of the most common types of reckless driving each Stafford County reckless driving lawyer at our firm has defended include:
- Racing other vehicles
- Speeding in excess of 85 m.p.h.
- Speeding 20 mph or more above the posted speed limit
- Attempting to elude law enforcement in a motor vehicle
- Intentionally driving through a red light or stop sign
- Passing other vehicles over a double yellow line
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Text messaging while driving
- Passing on the crest of a hill
- Passing two vehicles abreast
- Driving two vehicles abreast
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Failing to give a proper signal
- Faulty brakes/improper control
How is reckless driving charged?
In most cases, reckless driving is charged as a Class One misdemeanor. A Class Onemisdemeanor conviction carries the following penalties:
- Up to 12 months in jail
- A fine of up to $2,500.
Can reckless driving ever be charged as a felony?
There are circumstances under which reckless driving may be charged as a felony.
If you were charged with reckless driving and your driver’s license was suspended or revoked for a moving traffic violation, and your reckless driving offense caused the death of another person. In this situation, you could be charged with a Class 6 felony.
Your reckless driving charge was for racing, and you seriously injured someone who is not involved in the race.
The penalty for a Class 6 felony can be harsh. If convicted, you face a prison sentence of at least one year, but the judge can sentence you up to five years. A Stafford County reckless driving lawyer knows that in some cases, the court may impose a sentence similar to a misdemeanor of up to 12 months in jail and up to $2,500 fine.
Contact Dave Albo – Attorney Today
For immediate assistance with a reckless driving charge, contact Dave Albo – Attorney, an experienced Stafford County, VA reckless driving lawyer. By scheduling a free consultation today and taking control of your future, you can help improve your chances for a reduction or dismissal of your charges, lessening the impact such charges will have on your life and well-being.