The Commonwealth of Virginia treats traffic offenses seriously and strictly. Many are surprised to learn that there are situations where the Commonwealth will charge them with a criminal act for simply going over 85 mph, even if they are in a 70 mph zone with good weather conditions. In this case, the charge is called reckless driving, and it is a class one misdemeanor. This is punishable by up to a year imprisonment and a fine of up to $2500. Reckless driving may also be charged where you exceed the posted speed limit by 20 mph, or even simply where a police officer believes you are endangering others with your driving. If convicted of reckless driving you may also receive a license suspension.
Other traffic offenses are treated with equal or greater seriousness by the State. These can include driving on a suspended license, or hit and run situations that result in injury or death.
The good news is that there are a variety of defenses at your disposal. In many situations you may be able to avoid going to court entirely so long as you have an attorney representing you at upcoming court dates. Depending on the facts of your case you may be able to beat the charge itself. Common defenses may include improper speedometer calibration, improper speed detection equipment calibration, or response to an actual emergency.
Judges also have a wide degree of latitude in traffic cases and may be convinced to drop your case from a criminal charge to a mere traffic infraction. Your driving record, weather conditions, and your speed will all play a part in making this determination.
Finally we could explore other options that the prosecution may offer, such as dismissal of the case after completion of a driving class.
If you are charged with a Reckless Driving offense, contact the Winchester Virginia Reckless Driving Lawyers at Ambler Law Offices for a free consultation. Ambler Law Offices also represents those charged with reckless driving in Frederick, Clarke, Warren, Shenandoah, and Fauquier counties.
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