Fairfax Reckless Driving Charges and Out-of-State Drivers

Speeding in Fairfax and in Virginia generally is much more serious than it is in most other jurisdictions because it can amount to the criminal offense of reckless driving in Virginia. Excessive speeding charges in other jurisdictions are usually treated as traffic infractions instead.

Speeding is a big deal in Virginia because if someone is going at a speed that is deemed to be reckless driving, they can be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction of this caliber is permanent and can result in up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500 and a license suspension of up to 6 months. Because speeding has the potential for such a severe penalty, out-of-state drivers should be cautious on Virginia roads. If an out-of-state driver is charged with reckless driving in Fairfax, they should contact and consult with a Fairfax reckless driving lawyer.

Fairfax Reckless Driving Charges for Out-of-State Drivers 

An out-of-state driver receiving a speeding ticket in Virginia should first check the document to make sure that the speeding ticket is actually a traffic infraction and not reckless driving. This way the driver can verify that what they are being charged with isn’t a criminal offense. This is important because if an out-of-state driver is being charged with reckless driving, then they will be required to come back to Virginia in order to appear in court in person to answer the charge.

On the document, it should specify whether it is a reckless driving or speeding charge, and it should also specify whether or not there is a required court appearance. Out-of-state drivers should know that speeding tickets in Virginia are very serious and that it’s possible for a speeding violation to amount to a criminal charge instead of just a traffic infraction. Out-of-state drivers are often taken by surprise when they are issued a summons for reckless driving in Virginia for doing something that would’ve been only a traffic infraction in their home state. It’s very important to know what the consequences of fast driving in Virginia can be and to make sure that you adjust your driving accordingly.

If an out-of-state driver is charged with reckless driving, they will need to come back and appear in court in Virginia. The best thing that an out-of-state driver can do under these circumstance is contact a local attorney. A Fairfax reckless driving lawyer can help explain the distinction between a speeding charge and a reckless driving charge. This distinction can be confusing, but it is crucial to understand, as reckless driving is a more serious class 1 misdemeanor.

Importance of Consulting a Local Fairfax Reckless Driving Lawyer

When charged with reckless driving by excessive speed, an out-of-state driver should contact a local Fairfax reckless driving lawyer. An out-of-state attorney will not be able to help them unless they are also licensed in Virginia. Only a local Fairfax reckless driving attorney can appear in a local Virginia court to defend an out-of-state driver.

The Benefits of an Attorney

How a lawyer can help an out-of-state driver fighting a Virginia reckless driving charge is going to depend on how fast the driver was going and what type of reckless driving they were charged with. Sometimes, an attorney can go to court on the driver’s behalf for reckless driving, even though it is a criminal offense. Sometimes, however, a judge won’t allow this.

The attorney can petition to court to determine if it is possible for them to appear on the out-of-state driver’s behalf. If it is not possible, then the driver will be required to come back to Virginia to appear in court in person. However, a reckless driving attorney in the Fairfax area can still help mitigate the possible damages caused by this charge or possibly get the charge reduced or dismissed.

Ignorance of Virginia Laws as a Defense

Ignorance of the law is never a defense in Virginia. If an out-of-state driver does not know that more than 80 miles per hour is excessive speeding, then they are still just as a guilty as someone who is aware of the law. Judges often ask defendants what reason they have for operating their vehicle at such an excessive speed when they are charged with reckless driving.