Our criminal lawyers in Manassas, Prince William County put a focus on DUI and DWI defense. We have helped fight their DUI charge in court.
Virginia Reckless Driving Lawyers
The Commonwealth of Virginia categorizes Reckless driving as a class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail, 6 month loss of license and a $2,500 fine. Additionally, if convicted of Reckless driving in Virginia, you could see an increase in your insurance premium, issues with your security clearance and employment, 11 year record and DMV demerit points. All too often our attorneys for Reckless driving see defendants without lawyers pleading guilty to Reckless driving in court. Many of these individuals are unaware of the severe consequences of a first offense Reckless driving ticket in Virginia. If you or a loved one have been charged with Reckless driving in Fairfax or Northern Virginia, contact our office right away for your free consultation: (703) 542-1803
Types of Reckless Driving in Virginia
- Reckless Driving, Generally (Va. Code § 46.2-852)
- Reckless Driving by Speed (Va. Code §46.2-862 (i) & (ii)
- Reckless Driving by Excessive Speed for the Conditions (Va. Code § 46.2-861)
- Reckless Driving in Parking Lot (Va. Code § 46.2-864)
- Reckless Driving by Passing a School Bus (Va. Code §46.2-859)
- Reckless Driving by Improper Control/Faulty Brakes (Va. Code § 46.2-853)
- Reckless Driving by Passing on a Curve (Va. Code § 46.2-854)
- Reckless Driving by Passing Two Vehicles Abreast (Va. Code §46.2-856)
- Reckless Driving by Driving Two Abreast in a Single Lane (Va. Code § 46.2-857)
- Reckless Driving by Passing at a Railroad or Pedestrian Crossing (Va. Code § 46.2-858)
- Reckless Driving by Failing to Signal (Va. Code § 46.2-860)
- Reckless Driving by Failure to Yield (Va. Code § 46.2-863)
- Reckless Driving by Racing (Va. Code § 46.2-865)
- Reckless Driving by Driving with Impaired Control/View Because of Passengers (Va. Code § 46.2-855)
Will my Lawyer Get my Reckless Driving Ticket Dismissed?
The likelihood of having a reckless driving charge (or any charge) reduced or dismissed depends heavily on the facts of the specific case and the defendant’s criminal record. There is no way for any reckless driving lawyer to guarantee a certain result. Our attorneys for reckless driving prepare our clients with the steps they need to take prior to court in order to ensure the best possible outcome. Contact our reckless driving lawyers today for a free consultation: (703) 542-4008.
Driving on a Suspended License in Virginia
In cases of Reckless Driving convictions, the court may take the person’s license for up to 6-months. For a DWI/DUI conviction, the court may take a person’s license for up to 1-year. Unfortunately for that person, they have responsibilities like: family, work, school, etc. – they need to drive in order to live. Often, there is no other way for them to get to work, or to school, so they risk it and drive anyway. This is very true in Northern Virginia because so many people are not from this area, as they have relocated from somewhere else, have no family in the area and not a large network of friends to lean on.
When a person’s license is suspended by a court, they are required to sign a document acknowledging that their license is suspended. In other cases, a person may not lose their license because of what happens in court, but they subsequently fail to pay their court costs. This happens a lot in minor traffic infraction cases such as speeding. In that case, and by operation of law, their license is suspended – even if the judge did not take it on the day of court. In Virginia, you have 30-days to pay your fines and court costs in the event you are found guilty of any traffic infraction. After 30-days you will receive a letter from the DMV indicating you are suspended.
Penalties for Violation of §46.2-301 in Fairfax and Northern Virginia:
- Class 1 Misdemeanor
- Punishable by up to 1 year in jail or up to a $2500 fine
- Re-suspension of our driver’s license for the same period of time for which it was previously suspended
- If it is a 3rd offense, the punishment includes a mandatory 10-day incarceration
Loss of License Because of DUI, DWI and Refusal in Virginia
In DWI, DUI and Refusal cases in Fairfax and Northern Virginia, a person loses their ability to drive for 1 year. Often, the person receives a restricted license by the court. That license permits the person to drive during specified times and only to specified places. If the person is caught driving outside of their restrictions, they are considered to be driving on a suspended license. There is a specific code section for this situation – §18.2-272. §18.2-272 applies to driving on a suspended license, when the license was suspended due to a DWI/DUI conviction. The penalties in this code section are much harsher than found in §46.2-301. If found guilty, a person will have their license revoked for 12 months, and jail time is very possible – even on a first-offense. It will almost assuredly trigger a probation violation with respect to the underlying DWI or DUI charge.
Penalties for Violation of §46.2-272 in Fairfax and Northern Virginia:
- Class 1 Misdemeanor
- Punishable by up to 1 year in jail or up to a $2500 fine
- Mandatory License Revocation for 1 year (No Restricted License)
Is Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Virginia a Misdemeanor or Felony?
Leaving the scene of an accident or a “hit and run” may be either a misdemeanor or felony offense in Virginia. If the total damage to the vehicle is under $1000, it is classified as a misdemeanor. If the damage resulted in $1000 or more, leaving the scene of the accident would be a felony. Additionally, if any injury or death occurs, leaving the scene is automatically a felony offense. Either way, it would be in your best interest to speak with a criminal lawyer for hit and run charges in Fairfax Northern Virginia right away. Contact our office today: (703) 542-4008. There are four general categories for a hit and run charge in Virginia:
- Attended Property Damage < $1000 VA Code 46.2-894 (Class 1 misdemeanor) – Penalties: maximum 12 month jail sentence, 6 month license suspension, $2500 fine
- Attended Property Damage OR Injury/Death VA Code 46.2-894 (Class 6 felony) – Penalties: 5 year maximum jail sentence, 6 month license suspension, $2500 fine
- Unattended Property Damage < $250 VA Code 46.2-896 (Class 4 misdemeanor) – Penalties: no maximum jail sentence or license suspension, $250 fine
- Unattended Property Damage > $250 VA Code 46.2-896 (Class 1 misdemeanor) – Penalties: maximum 12 month jail sentence, 6 month license suspension, $2500 fine
Northern Virginia: A Terrible Place to Drive
Survey after survey shows that D.C.-area residents have one of the worst commutes in the country, if not THE worst. And, Fairfax County, Va., might be ground zero for the most difficult stretch of road in the entire metropolitan area. Have you ever been on I-66 during rush hour? Then you know how it can quickly become a parking lot.
Many other roads in Fairfax County get clogged with cars on a regular basis, including the Beltway’s western loop, Routes 50 and 267, 28 and 29, and the Fairfax County Parkway. All of these routes create conditions where it’s easy to incur a traffic violation.
Here are several ways that traffic tickets can be earned in regions where roadways are especially choked:
- You can end up far behind the intersection in a line of cars, then get to the intersection right when the light turns red—and you are already far past the solid white line.
- You move slowly for miles, then have a breakaway and are in a hurry. Before you know it, you are in a pack of speeding cars, all exceeding the posted limit. You have to speed to avoid being a hazard, in some cases.
- You know that if you wait through another light in heavy traffic, you will be late for your huge appointment. So, you fail to stop completely before making a right turn on red.
Accepting the Ticket vs. Fighting It
When you are stopped and receive a ticket from a patrol officer, or you have one mailed to you after a camera snaps a photo of your license plate at an intersection, a natural tendency is to pay the fine and move on. However, don’t ever forget that mistakes are sometimes made in reading speeds, and breathalyzer tests are not always accurate. In addition, law enforcement officers commit mistakes in procedure when they flag you for a DUI or charge you with reckless driving.
Before you meekly pay your fine or admit guilt at a hearing, contact a Fairfax traffic defense lawyer and find out if you have a chance at getting your charge and sentence/fine reduced. This could be extremely important if you have had other violations on your record and face a loss of driving privileges or jail time.