Dinwiddie Reckless Driving Lawyer

When a driver elects not to contest their alleged violation, most traffic citations can be easily resolved with a fine. In Virginia, when a driver is cited for reckless driving, paying a fine before the hearing is not an option. Reckless driving is a criminal charge that should be handled by a skilled defense attorney with experience successfully defending reckless driving charges.

If you have been cited for reckless driving in or around Dinwiddie, contact an experienced Dinwiddie reckless driving lawyer to get the representation that you need from someone who can work hard to protect your rights and get you the best outcome possible.

Defining Reckless Driving in Dinwiddie

In Dinwiddie, and throughout Virginia, reckless driving is driving at a speed or in a manner that endangers lives, limbs, or property. Reckless driving does not, however, require that a driver be accused of causing an accident or creating an incident before an officer can cite them with reckless driving.

There are 14 groups of reckless driving charges in Virginia. The most common act that gives rise to a citation for reckless driving is speeding. In Virginia, driving 21 miles per hour or more above a posted speed limit or driving in excess of 80 miles per hour constitutes reckless driving.

Additionally, driving with an obstructed view because of passengers also meets the standard for reckless driving or driving faster than is appropriate under the circumstances, even if it is within the speed limit, may also constitute reckless driving.

Paying a Ticket Ahead of Time

Whether someone is allowed to pay their ticket off early or not,  varies county to county and judge to judge. Some local judges will allow out of state drivers to prepay reckless tickets, but they do not allow law enforcement to tell them that on the side of the road, only if they call in and ask. It differs from judge to judge, so the best course of action is to call the clerk’s office of the county where the person was charged to find out if they will be allowed to pay in advance. It is not always allowed, and they might explain to them that if prepaying, they are taking a Class 1 misdemeanor conviction and their state might treat this differently than Virginia. They might lose their license, which happens all the time to people that do not call and prepay.

Criminal Offense and Court

Throughout Virginia, reckless driving is a criminal act, which is adjudicated under VA Code § 46.2-853 through VA Code § 46.2-865 and warrants attention from an experienced Dinwiddie reckless driving lawyer. As is the case with any other criminal offense, a driver that is charged with reckless driving is required to report to court for a scheduled hearing, just as they would be required to do if the person was charged with another criminal offense.

Once a driver is charged with reckless driving, they have the same three options that a person that is charged with more serious criminal offenses have, depending on the circumstances. A driver can go to trial with the case, negotiate a plea or plead guilty to charge, or, in rarer cases, the matter may be dismissed entirely.

After being charged with reckless driving offenses in Dinwiddie, the driver is required to go to Dinwiddie County General District Court, which is located at 14008 Boydton Plank Road, Dinwiddie, Virginia 23841. Hearings in this court are presided over by judges, who make determinations of guilt or innocence in the cases.

Process of a Reckless Driving Case

A person should expect to have all the necessary information once they receive their tickets, which will allow them to get in contact with the clerk’s office and see what their options are as far as what they have been charged with and prepayment. Then, it depends on whether or not they want to appear in court and contest guilt and get an attorney. It can go in several different ways depending on how they want to approach it.

Dinwiddie is very tough. It has some old school judges who do not hesitate to convict people. They are very law enforcement friendly, so contesting guilt generally does not pay-off in Dinwiddie.

The role of an attorney in a reckless driving case is to get the client out of reckless. The first priority is to get it out of reckless and out of that Class 1 misdemeanor, six points range. Then, it is a matter of getting it to non-moving or dismissed. The first priority is always to get it out of the reckless driving category, so they do not have to worry about license suspensions, huge fines, and points on the person’s record for over a decade. Individuals may not receive probation for judgment in a reckless driving case.

Potential Penalties

Reckless driving is classified with the most serious misdemeanor offenses. The possible penalties if convicted of a class one misdemeanor include a fine that does not exceed $2,500, up to one year jail, or both.  While it is uncommon to be incarcerated for reckless driving when charged for the first time, the court will consider the driver’s record holistically to make a determination of the most appropriate penalty. Additionally, a conviction for reckless driving also has administrative penalties, including six month’s suspension of the driver’s license making it imperative that a Dinwiddie reckless driving attorney is consulted.

Consult with a Reckless Driving Attorney Today

If you have been charged with reckless driving in Dinwiddie County, it is important to take the charge as seriously as you would any other criminal charge. Contact an experienced Dinwiddie reckless driving lawyer, who will zealously advocate for you, right away.