Fairfax Reckless Driving by Speed Charges

There are a variety of ways drivers can face a reckless driving charge in the state of Virginia. Exceeding the speed limit by 20 miles per hour is one way, known as reckless driving by speed. Reckless driving by speed is the same level of offense as every other type of reckless driving in Fairfax. All of them are class 1 misdemeanors which carry the same possible consequences and on a criminal record will be viewed the same way.

Someone might not personally consider reckless driving by speed as bad as another type of reckless driving. But in the eyes of Virginia state law, they are identical.

How Reckless by Speed Differs from a Speeding Ticket

Reckless driving by speed is a different level of charge than a speeding ticket. Reckless driving in Fairfax is a criminal offense, whereas a speeding ticket is a lower offense of a traffic infraction. The difference is that speeding tickets generally go up to about 19 miles per hour over the speed limit, whereas reckless driving is 20 miles per hour or more over the speed limit. Reckless driving is a more serious offense than general speeding.

Telling the Difference Between the Two

You can tell the difference between the two charges by looking to see specifically what the document the officer gives you says. Under what you’re being charged with, it should specify whether it’s speeding or a reckless driving charge. If it doesn’t specify, then on the same document, it will say whether or not you’re required to appear in court.

Reckless driving has mandatory appearances, whereas speeding tickets are able to be pre-paid in advance if you would rather plead guilty and accept the consequences without going to court. Therefore, it’s possible to tell what the charge is by determining whether you need to go to court or not.

Impact on Your Driving and Criminal Record

Many people think reckless driving isn’t serious because it’s just charged for speeding. Reckless driving is not only a criminal offense but it’s a class 1 misdemeanor. This is the same level of offense as shoplifting and simple assault. Whether it looks really bad on your record is pretty subjective and the answer depends on who is asking the question. Different opportunities and careers will have different requirements and priorities.

Some will certainly be affected by a class 1 misdemeanor conviction and some others may take reckless driving to imply a reckless person in general. There is no positive that can come from having a criminal record but there are a lot of possibilities for negative consequences. Someone concerned about protecting their driving and criminal record should get in touch with a local Fairfax reckless driving attorney to discuss their options.

Impact on CDL Holders

Commercial driver’s licenses can be disqualified due to reckless driving convictions. For purposes of a commercial driver’s license, reckless driving is considered to be a serious violation. If someone has a commercial driver’s license and they receive two convictions within 3 years, this typically leads to them having 60-day disqualification of their commercial driver’s license. Three or more convictions for serious violations in 3 years results in a 120-day disqualification.

This means that you are not allowed to drive a commercial vehicle in the time that your license is disqualified. This can happen even if you are driving your own personal vehicle at the time that you were charged. Many people with commercial driver’s licenses depend on these licenses for their job.

The considerations for commercial driver’s license facing this charge can be very serious if their livelihood would be affected by a conviction.

How a Virginia Reckless Driving Lawyer Can Help

A reckless driving attorney in Fairfax can help you analyze all of the evidence in your case to figure out the best possible defenses and strategies. They can help you figure out what is relevant and what isn’t. An attorney can determine which defenses will work and which are unlikely to be persuasive. An attorney can help explain how best to prepare for court and can give you some steps that you can take before court that may result in a more favorable outcome for you.

Defenses Against Reckless Driving by Speed Charges

This type of reckless driving is going to have different requirements that need to be proven. Each type of reckless driving has different defenses depending on exactly what the behavior is that has been alleged to have occurred that endangered life, limb or property. In speed cases, the defenses are going to relate to the speed the vehicle was going and will focus on either proving that reasonable doubt exists that the driver was driving at the speed alleged or attempting to provide mitigating evidence for a reduction of the charge to a traffic infraction rather than a criminal offense. An emergency situation can be a good legal excuse for driving at those speeds. Like any excuse, it will have to be proven in court and will have to be convincing.

Another excuse that sometimes works is if the speedometer was incorrect. This is an excuse that only works if it’s a little bit off and the speed is just a little bit over what would generally be speeding. This doesn’t completely mitigate the entire charge but it usually is good enough cause to have the reckless charge reduced to speeding.