Reckless Driving Defense Attorney in Virginia
In Virginia, reckless driving is a serious criminal offense with very real consequences. If convicted, you could be facing up to a year in jail, thousands of dollars in fines, and the suspension of your license. Additionally, drivers can receive multiple points on their record which can have effects such as increased insurance rates. To protect yourself from these penalties, contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone. The firm’s lead Virginia criminal defense attorney has defended more than a thousand cases in the decade he has operated a private practice.
Request a FREE consultation with the firm today to learn about your legal options.
What Constitutes Reckless Driving?
Under Virginia law, reckless driving is generally defined as driving “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.” The law also sets forth a specific definition for reckless driving by speed. In other words, if you violate that law, you will be charged with reckless driving rather than getting a simple speeding ticket.
Motorists have a legal obligation to others, known as a duty of care. This obligation requires drivers to act in such a manner as to not place others at risk of unnecessary harm. If a driver violates that duty in a way that puts others at risk, they could face reckless driving charges.
In most cases, officers make reckless driving arrests based on their interpretation of the driver’s behaviors. For example, if an officer sees a motorist driving at a high rate of speed, swerving in and out of their lane, passing other cars too closely, or otherwise behaving in a dangerous manner for the roadway’s current conditions, they can make an arrest.
No matter what actions led to your specific offense, a Virginia reckless driving lawyer from The Law Office of Michael Pignone can help you to clear your name and protect your driving record.
Common Examples of Reckless Driving
Charges for reckless driving can stem from actions such as the following.
Excessive speed is among the most common causes of reckless driving. A person can face charges for driving more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, or more than 80 miles per hour on any public road.
Failure to Stop for a School Bus
A school bus will signal other drivers to stop when passengers are boarding and offloading from the vehicle. All drivers on a non-divided road must come to a stop until the driver of the bus signals that traffic can resume.
Any persons who engage in street racing can face additional punishments such as an extended suspension of their driver’s license.
Inability to Control a Vehicle
It is against the law to continue to operate a vehicle that a driver cannot control. This can include hindered control due to faulty brakes, obstructed views, or improperly inflated tires.
These are just a few of the types of reckless driving charges that you could face. In fact, officers can arrest you on this charge for virtually any behavior they deem as reckless while driving a motor vehicle.
Potential Penalties for Reckless Driving
In Virginia, reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor. For a first offense, you face a fine of up to $2,500 and up to 12 months in jail. You could also have your driver license suspended for up to 6 months. You will have a permanent criminal record, which can interfere with your ability to get a job. Your insurance premiums will also increase significantly.
If you were driving on a suspended license at the time of your arrest, you will face a Class 6 felony charge. Conviction on a Class 6 felony charge carries one to five years in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
If you caused an accident while driving recklessly, you could also face other charges—especially if the accident resulted in property damage, injuries, or a fatality. If someone died in a reckless driving accident, contact a vehicular manslaughter lawyer in Virginia as quickly as possible.
Legal Help for Reckless Driving Charges
If you have been charged with a traffic-related offense such as reckless driving, do not answer questions or provide any statement to the police or prosecutor until you contact a Virginia reckless driving attorney. An attorney can explain your options and help you make the best possible decisions for you and your future.
The legal professionals at the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone have a proven record of success defending the rights of drivers throughout Virginia. We analyze the details of your case and craft a strong defense strategy on your behalf. We fight tirelessly to get you the best possible outcome in your case.
Contact our office today to learn more or to schedule your consultation with a Virginia reckless driving lawyer.