Fauquier County Reckless Driving Lawyer

Reckless driving is very serious. It doesn’t seem like it would be since it looks so much like just a traffic infraction. Reckless driving in Fauquier County is actually a Class 1 Misdemeanor which is the most serious level of misdemeanor. Excessive speeding is when you are driving over 80 miles/hour or 20 miles/hour over the posted speed limit.

Reckless driving can be a speeding ticket but it is not always charged for speeding. There are other ways that reckless driving can be charged such as causing an accident or general reckless driving which encompasses a whole variety of behaviors that don’t necessarily include speeding. In Fauquier County, reckless driving is a bunch of moving violations that entail operating a motor vehicle in a reckless manner that endangers life, limb or property.The most common type of reckless driving is excessive speeding.

Different Ways Reckless Driving Can be Charged

Reckless driving can be charged by excessive speed, which is driving 20 miles/hour over the speed limit, or 80 miles/hour at any speed limit, or it can be charged as a whole bunch of other moving violations which include passing a stopped school bus, passing an emergency vehicle with its lights on, driving too fast for the weather conditions, driving with faulty brakes or drag racing. Reckless driving in Fauquier County can also be charged as general reckless driving, which is basically a catch-all that includes any type of driving behavior that endangers life, limb or property and doesn’t quite fit into any of the other reckless driving categories.

Penalties for Reckless Driving in Fauquier County

It is important to have local counsel in Fauquier County because each court is a little bit different and you want somebody on your side who not only is familiar with the law but is familiar with the rules and customs of the particular courtroom that you are going to be in. Each judge is going to rule a little bit differently and they are going to be more flexible to different defenses and arguments. It is important to have an attorney familiar with these nuances who can use them to your advantage.

The penalties for reckless driving are up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2500, and a license suspension for up to 6 months. This is because reckless driving is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia, which is a criminal conviction. Criminal convictions are very serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you are convicted the conviction also results in 6 demerit points on your DMV record, and the conviction remains there for 11 years. For the most common type of reckless driving, which is by speed, the penalties increase as the speed increases. Someone driving 100 miles/hour is going to be definitely put in jail unless they have a very good reason why they were driving like that.

Differences Between Reckless Driving and Speeding Charges

Reckless driving is a criminal misdemeanor whereas a speeding ticket is just a traffic infraction. Reckless driving is really more of an enhanced speeding ticket. Speeding tickets can only go up to 19 miles/hour over the speed limit. Once the speed hits 20 miles/hour or more, the charge becomes reckless driving. Once it is in the criminal category it is punishable by more than just a fine, with jail time being on the table and the conviction also lasts for the rest of your life whereas a speeding ticket conviction only lasts for 10 years on your driving record.

You should be able to tell if you are charged with reckless driving or just speeding by looking at the piece of paper that you signed that the officer gave you. If it is reckless driving it will say right on there, ‘Reckless Driving’ or ‘RD.’ It will have the speed and it should be either at least 80 miles/hour, or 20 miles/hour over the posted speed limit. If it is speeding, it generally just has the speed and sometimes it will say, ‘Speeding’ or ‘SP’.

How a Fauquier County Reckless Driving Lawyer Can Help

A lawyer can help prepare you for court and can help you build the strongest defense available against the serious charge. It is important to have a lawyer on your side who can not only explain the charges but also help you avoid them. An reckless driving lawyer in Fauquier County knows how to best present the evidence to defend the client as well as knows which evidence is going to be relevant to help the case. The attorney can help you by cross-examining the law enforcement officer to cast reasonable doubt on the officer’s testimony. A reckless driving attorney in Fauquier County can also object during an officer’s testimony if the officer says anything that may hurt your case and there is a legal basis to object. The attorney can do things before the court case is called to possibly have certain evidence not included at all. A lawyer can also help to have the case dismissed altogether or have the charges reduced which sometimes can make all the difference in the world.

The process of a Fauquier reckless driving case is very similar to a speeding ticket. You will be issued the ticket on the side of the road just like a speeding ticket and then you will have to go to court to answer to the charge. At the court, the officer will be present and will testify as to what happened and, if he is doing his job correctly, the calibration certificate will be introduced. There are a lot of requirements for a callibration certificate to be valid, and your attorney should know these. The judge will ask the officer some questions to clear up anything and then it will be the defendant’s turn to question the officer or to provide their own evidence and testimony. After this the judge will issue the sentence and the case will be closed.

It is important to have local counsel in Fauquier County even if you are charged with a lesser offense like aggressive driving, because each court is a little bit different and you want somebody on your side who not only is familiar with the law but is familiar with the rules and customs of the particular courtroom that you are going to be in. Each judge is going to rule a little bit differently and they are going to be more flexible to different defenses and arguments. It is important to have an attorney familiar with these nuances who can use them to your advantage.