When most people think of a traffic ticket, they assume that the worst consequence they may face is a significant fine. However, in Virginia, that is not the case for reckless driving. A conviction for reckless driving means you have a misdemeanor on your record. It could also mean that you will lose your license and may even spend time in jail. If police cited you for reckless driving, it is important that you consult with a Fairfax reckless driving lawyer before accepting any type of resolution. At the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone, our criminal charges defense lawyers have extensive experience helping drivers like you keep their licenses. We handle both administrative and criminal traffic violation cases. Our caring and compassionate Fairfax reckless driving attorney can clearly explain all your options so you know exactly what’s at stake if you take a plea. We may also be able to successfully challenge the ticket.

What Is Reckless Driving?

While most people understand the concept of reckless driving, understanding exactly what the term includes is a different story. The Code of Virginia section 46.2-852 explains that “irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving.”

So what does this mean? How fast do you need to go to get cited for reckless driving? What other traffic violations can lead to a reckless driving citation? Below are the most common reasons why police cite drivers for reckless driving.

Speeding

Speeding is a traffic infraction that adds points to your record but doesn’t put you at risk of jail time or a criminal conviction. However, if you are driving more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit or over 80 miles per hour on any public road, officers may decide to cite you for reckless driving instead of speeding.

Not Stopping for a School Bus or Emergency Vehicle

If a school bus or emergency vehicle is stopped and children are getting on or off the bus, you must come to a complete stop. If police officers see you whip around the bus or make some other dangerous maneuver, you may face reckless driving charges.

Racing

Engaging in street racing is sure to catch the attention of police, who may cite you for reckless driving. The government doesn’t need to prove that you were actually racing, only that you put others at serious risk.

Driving Erratically

Frequently switching lanes, cutting other drivers off, and engaging in aggressive driving behavior can also be considered reckless driving.

It is important to understand that judges and prosecutors have a lot of discretion when it comes to reckless driving charges. However, reckless driving charges are serious. Even a first-time conviction carries up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. On top of this, you will lose your license for up to six months, and your insurance rates will dramatically increase. While these offenses are serious, a skilled Fairfax reckless driving attorney can help you avoid the most serious consequences. At the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone, we’ve had success getting prosecutors to drop charges, agree to a plea for a lesser charge, and even beaten reckless driving citations at trial. If your license and your future are on the line, you don’t want to take any risks.

Contact a Fairfax Reckless Driving Lawyer for Immediate Assistance

If you were recently cited for reckless driving, you may not have the option of paying a fine to make the case go away. And even if you do, that may not be the best thing for your future. The Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone have been helping good people get out of bad situations for over 25 years. We can help you understand all of your options so you can make an informed decision on the best and most advantageous course of action. Our experienced attorney also handles DUI cases. If you decide to fight, we will take the helm. We have years of experience handling both criminal and administrative traffic violation cases. And you can be sure that we will aggressively advocate on your behalf every step of the way. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Fairfax reckless driving attorney, give us a call today. You can reach us at 703-775-4302 or you can also connect with us through our online contact form.