pleading guilty to reckless driving in virginia

Jacob has been our lawyer for 3 years now and he is excellent. So thats just a little taste of the different plea choices and why its impossible, without knowing all the facts of the case and talking with the officer and any witnesses, to make a good decision and advise a person about how they should plead. But the problem is that I cant know if the Commonwealth has their evidence in your case unless Ive looked at all the evidence and talked with the officer and talked with the prosecutor and then, and only then, will we know what plea we should enter. Once you receive a set amount of points within a short amount of time, the DMV will automatically suspend or revoke your license. In most cases, you can resolve them by simply paying the associated fine online. This is unbelievable, you think to yourself. Contact us to see what we can do for you. You understand that if you fail to attend your court hearing, you could be arrested. This can be handled by agreement with the prosecutor, or even done by the Judge after a trial. The other driver indicates to the court that while he is waiting patiently at the red light on a nice slow and easy day, he saw you careening toward his vehicle from his rearview mirror and it appeared that you were distracted by your radio. What Happens if You Get a Speeding Ticket in Virginia? In many cases, I can handle your case through discussions over the phone and email. The hearing is where you will bring to light all the information presented in the police report. Failing to do so is a separate crime, which can result in even more penalties. Often, a conviction also affects government security clearances and contract eligibility for military or law enforcement personnel, and must be disclosed when applying for U.S. citizenship. Your experienced Virginia traffic law attorney will know when one of these circumstances was present and apply it in your defense. A plea of no contest, on the other hand, contains no admission. The Commonwealth of Virginia defines reckless driving in many different ways. Make sure to always attend any court dates relating to your reckless driving charge. A wet reckless driving charge applies in situations where individuals drive recklessly while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You can appeal a guilty verdict in a reckless driving case under a couple of conditions. As with license suspension, the final decision falls to the judge presiding over your case. This saves you time and money, and is only one of the numerous benefits of hiring a reputable Virginia defense lawyer. If you do not have a VA defense lawyer, then you must appear in court in order to defend yourself. Consult with an experienced Virginia reckless driving lawyer who can advise you of the best steps to take for your defense. Free for Personal Injury & Criminal Defense Only. Hes sorry, he tells you, but he has no choice but to find you guilty. This is because most states subscribe to the Interstate Drivers License Compact. This is especially tricky for out of state drivers, who often have to fight the charge from hundreds of miles away. If your reckless driving charge is a result of racing, you face enhanced penalties, including a license suspension of up to 2 years and the possible permanent seizure of your vehicle. You must fully understand the potential consequences for a conviction and the options that your lawyer can argue for in your defense. But thats only after me looking at the evidence, and talking with the officer and knowing for sure that they have their evidence in order. Depending on the circumstances of your reckless driving case, your lawyer may argue for one of two options. It is also worthwhile to have your attorney explore possible alternative outcomes like amending the charge to speeding or Improper Driving. Virginia DUI and DWI; . Northern Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney, Northern Virginia Criminal Defense Attorneys, Virginia Reckless Driving Defense Attorney, Virginia Reckless Driving Defense Attorneys, Former Virginia County Republican Committee Chairman Charged With Child Pornography, Virginia Man Allegedly Abducts Teenage Victim. You may be able to enter into a plea agreement to plead guilty to a much less serious offense that does not include the harsh penalties of a reckless driving conviction or that may not result in a criminal record. Hampton, VA 23663 If you are charged with reckless driving in Virginia, you may be facing serious and lifelong penalties. Pleading No Contest in Virginia Is the Same as Pleading Guilty. However, an appeal from reckless driving in Virginia must be filed within 10 days of the conviction. 41-6a-528 Reckless driving -- Penalty. Reckless Driving is a pretty serious charge. The police have discretion in deciding to arrest individuals charged with certain less serious offenses, such as reckless driving. Many people think that they can defend themselves in court but end up with an unfavorable decision against them. The date on your ticket may be one of two things: a date within a couple weeks, or a date a few months away. This practice is not specified in Virginia law, but some judges see it as necessary to send a message to the offending driver. If convicted, youll usually receive a relatively large fine. Virginia Reckless Driving: Out of State Drivers. The first and most important question you should ask is whether your ticket is for speeding or reckless driving. Virginia reckless driving consequences of large fines, jail sentences, increased insurance premiums, and the resulting criminal record remain the same for both local drivers and out of state drivers. Instead, the officer would ask you to sign a ticket, which is really called a summons, and allow you to remain free until your case is decided. the same criminal penalties as reckless driving. Testimonials & Reviews: Our Clients Words. Keep in mind that you can be arrested even if you sign the ticket if the officer has other reasons to believe that you will not attend your court hearing. However, the easiest is to simply avoid driving over 80 miles per hour. Note that while Virginia normally uses the contributory negligence rule for car accidents, any responsibility is enough to prove a reckless driving charge. No, you are not pleading guilty if you are charged with reckless driving in Virginia and sign the ticket. Fax: (804) 355-8875 Making a good impression on the judge is especially helpful in this regard. you can avoid going to court altogether by entering a guilty plea and waiving your traffic . Stating that your speedometer was incorrect, or that your brakes failed, is not a valid defense in most Virginia courtrooms. You explain to the court that you were not distracted when you hit the other vehicle. However, you should still speak with an attorney to double check this information. 2023 The Wilson Law Firm, All Rights Reserved, Reproduced with Permission. Speak to one of our lawyers now to identify the right solutions. Speeding tickets are traffic infractions, not misdemeanors. What Kind of Evidence Can Help in My Reckless Driving Case? However, a wet reckless charge does not. But of course we cant know for sure until we talk with the officer and any other witnesses. Even if you are guilty of this crime, you may have strong defenses that can result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. While the judge may appreciate your candor, it is still an admission of guilt. 2023 Simms Showers, LLP. Also, under most circumstances, speeding carries a maximum penalty of $250. If your attorney cant get your case dismissed outright, theyll instead argue for lesser charges. However, the costs can change based on the details of your case. You were driving on the day of the offense. Brunswick County Va Reckless Driving Lawyers, Bowling Green Va Reckless Driving Lawyers, Caroline County va Reckless Driving Lawyers, Chesterfield County Reckless Driving Lawyers, Colonial Heights Va Reckless Driving Lawyers, Dinwiddie County Va Reckless Driving Lawyers, Greensville County Va Reckless Driving Lawyers, Henrico County va Reckless Driving Lawyers, Lawrenceville VA Reckless Driving Lawyers, King George County Va Reckless Driving Lawyers, Mecklenburg County Va Reckless Driving Lawyers, New Kent County Va Reckless Driving Attorneys, Prince George County Reckless Driving Lawyers, Spotsylvania County Va Reckless Driving Lawyers, Stafford County Va Reckless Driving Lawyers, Sussex County Va Reckless Driving Lawyers. However, Virginia will report the offense and any imposed suspension or points to your home state. . Virginia courts penalize reckless driving as aClass 1 misdemeanor. Reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. Your home states laws will determine whether any offense will apply to your driving record there. If you do not sign the summons, the police officer may assume that you donot intend to appear at future court hearings. You should consult an attorney to see the range of mitigating factors that can help you get a reduced punishment or charge reduction. Therefore, its essential to speak with a qualified traffic and misdemeanor lawyer to discuss whether it may be an option. Reckless driving is one of the most commonly charged traffic crimes in Virginia, usually for cases of speeding. The problem is that question depends upon all the facts and circumstances of your case. No. You should speak with your lawyer about any and all collateral consequences of a reckless driving conviction before your trial date. Initiating the process is quite simple. serves clients in Hampton Roads VA both in the Peninsula and the Southside including Seaford, Poquoson, Lightfoot, Hampton, Newport News, Yorktown, Fort Eustis, Lackey, Gloucester Point, Achilles, Maryus, Williamsburg, Bayside, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Smithfield and beyond. We are grateful to everyone at Tingen Law for helping us with our trademark registration, they are professional and efficient. Can I Appeal My Virginia Reckless Driving Charge? However, if you still dont understand something after leaving the stop, there are a few things you can do to check whether the ticket is for reckless driving: Once youre certain that your ticket is for reckless driving, its time to take a look at your court date. your lawyer may argue for one of two options. In addition, law enforcement officials and the prosecutor could view you as uncooperative if you refuse to sign the ticket. ", "I feel quite lucky to have hired The Wilson Law Firm to handle my case. All parties who plead guilty to a wet and reckless driving charge work with the prosecuting attorney to determine the terms of your guilty plea. Attorney fees and costs can vary depending on the nature of the charge and the circumstances of the case. For a first reckless driving conviction, the Driver License Division (DLD) can suspend the driver's license for up to three months upon the recommendation of the judge. This is an informal hearing commonly known as arraignment. If you want to appeal your reckless driving conviction, you must file the appeal within 10 days. But if you dispute the facts of your alleged offense, it may make sense to fight the charge. as well as other, more specific sections in the statute, scratch out the prepayment information on the ticket. However, everyone has the right to appeal from a district court ruling provided they meet the requirements above. Aggressive driving is driving which causes a hazard to another person or which is intended to harass, intimidate, injure, or obstruct another person. This was a minor accident. And finally its your turn to testify. Home; Practice Areas . However, unlike normal traffic infractions, Virginia courts treat reckless driving as a Class 1 misdemeanor. 720 Mall Parkway Jacob graduated from the University of Richmond School of Law and was accepted to the Virginia Bar in 2012. Several traffic violations are considered so serious under Virginia traffic law that they are charged as a criminal offense rather than a moving infraction. life, limb, or property?. This can be used against you in civil court. While reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor, aggressive driving is a class 2 misdemeanor; however, aggressive driving with the intent to injure another person is charged as a class 1 misdemeanor. I sit in Court often, waiting for my turn on the docket, hearing other cases that are being tried before mine. In order to protect yourself from a reckless driving conviction, there are several key things you need to know: Remember, a reckless driving conviction is misdemeanor that will stay on your record forever. An experienced VA reckless driving lawyer will best be able to protect your interests while helping you try to avoid these criminal consequences. A DUI charge stays on your criminal and DMV record. Hello, Im Andrew Flusche. If you cant make that argument, your attorney may instead argue for a reduced charge, such as improper driving. What are the chances of reducing the ticket? This is particularly true if it is a particularly egregious speed or if it is a repeat offense. By this point, you need to have either hired an attorney or spoken with the court-appointed attorney about your case. Pleading not guilty in cases where the prosecution's evidence against you is ambiguous or non-existent could provide a better outcome. Virginia laws do not statutorily define wet and reckless driving. The DMV will also apply between three and six demerit points to your license. All parties who plead guilty to a wet and reckless driving charge work with the prosecuting attorney to determine the terms of your guilty plea. You could also ask your attorney if youve already hired one. You only have 10 days to file the paperwork with your local Circuit Court. Prepaying Your Fairfax Traffic Ticket: No Big Deal, Right? And while he understands your position, he finds from the evidence that your conduct meets that prohibited under the Virginia Reckless Driving statute. The 10 day timeline includes weekends and holidays. Attorney Charles V. Hardenbergh is committed to helping Virginia drivers build a solid defense for their reckless driving cases. Under Virginia law, if the driver of that other vehicle decides to sue you for money as a result of the accident and you entered a guilty or no contest plea to the Reckless Driving charge, the other drivers civil attorney may try to use that plea against you as an admission of guilt. They can raise your defenseswhich you can have even if you are guilty of the chargesso that you achieve the best possible outcome given your situation. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Upon conviction of reckless driving, your criminal record will permanently contain a misdemeanor criminal offense. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form. Is Now the Time to Request Your Virginia Driving Record? Even if you have already been found guilty of reckless driving, you may be able to appeal. Below is some information you may find on your summons and an explanation of the legal effect of signing the summons. An officer may arrest you for reckless driving if he or she observes you: No. Speeding In Virginia, most cases of speeding dont lead to reckless driving charges, and thus do not carry criminal penalties. Typically, you are not handcuffed and taken down to the police station to be booked and jailed. Experienced attorneys can let you know whether the judge you are in front of is likely to be harsher than the lower court judge. If you are convicted of Reckless Driving in Virginia, you will have the misdemeanor conviction on your record for the rest of your life. If the date is further out, then it is likely your actual trial date. Around Northern Virginia this is a common offense on the I-495 beltway, where the speed limit can drop to 55 mph, even though the normal rate of traffic is at least 75 mph. Mr. Wilson is a true professional. Less than 30 days after being admitted to the bar, Jacob launched his own legal practice. The judge then listens to the evidence. When you plead guilty, you are agreeing to a criminal recordfor life. Finally, if you do choose to argue that your speedometer or another mechanical element failed, make sure to calibrate or fix the device before your court date. 888-DUI-LWYR | 703-361-6100. Reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia, punishable by hefty fines, license suspension, and even, in some cases, jail time. This reduces the costs and time you must spend addressing the matter and offers the opportunity to defend the charges against you in court. You also cannot appeal if you plead guilty to the reckless driving charge or a reduced charge, because pleading guilty automatically waives your right to appeal. We would want to make them have to do their job and prove it, and maybe they cant prove it. When you plead guilty, you are agreeing to a criminal recordfor life. If an officer stopped you for speeding, make sure to take note of the speed written on the ticket. Any codes between 46.2-852 and 46.2-869, or the letters RD, may mean the ticket is for reckless driving. Andrew Lindsey; . Newport News, VA 23606* It is only a promise that you will be in court. Here is what you are agreeing to when you sign the summons: If you refuse to sign the reckless driving summons, the police officer may assume that you will not appear in court and has the discretion to arrest you and take you to the police station to be booked. Am I pleading guilty if I sign a reckless driving ticket? In return, the court will offer you a plea deal for this much lower offense. At the very least, your driving record and insurance costs will take a hit if you simply plead guilty by paying the . One factor will be the specific jurisdiction that you are charged in, and how they generally handle these cases. What are the Consequences of a Reckless Driving Conviction? Thomas M. Wilson, Attorney at Law can help you with your reckless driving case in Virginia. Some judges, for example, will not dismiss or reduce a reckless driving charge to a lesser offense against a defendant who pleads not guilty and then asks the court for leniency after the judge finds that the facts established at trial support a conviction. Virginia reckless driving laws are complex, and if you are convicted, you face significant penalties. Virginia State Crime Commission Evaluates Drunk Driving, Virginia School Principal Arrested For DWI & Hit And Run In Loudoun County, False Claims Act / Whistleblower Litigation. For this reason, you should always speak carefully with officers during traffic stops. While it is certainly easiest to just show up, plead guilty, and pay the fine, you will have a Class 1 Misdemeanor on your permanent recordin addition to the other possible penalties mentioned above. No requirement to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle; Possibly no suspension of driver license; and. This could have a negative impact on future prospects, including employment. These shops should be able to provide you with a calibration sheet that can be used in Court. At most, improper driving will result in a $500 fine and three points on your license. The other choice of plea would be no contest. Maximum penalty: The way you would be guilty of a felony traffic offense in Virginia is if you are convicted of multiple DUI's in a short period of time. This is not a regular speeding ticket or traffic citation, but it is a misdemeanor crime. The higher your speed, the more likely jail time becomes. Instead, you are asked to sign the summons, which is a promise to appear in court. If you are found guilty or plead guilty, you will have a criminal conviction on your record. If you need help and want to get started on your case reach out and ask Andrew a question about your charge. Call Free Consultation (703) 350-4877. In some cases, your VA reckless driving attorney can appear in court on your behalf, meaning you dont even have to be present. Cody Adam Preugschat, 34, pleaded guilty Thursday in Douglas County Superior Court to reckless driving and making a false or misleading statement to a police officer. Examples of other forms of reckless driving include drowsy driving, passing a stopped school bus, and drag racing. In addition to the penalties outlined in the Virginia Code, there are several other consequences that might come out of a reckless driving conviction. Should I plead guilty, should I plead not guilty? Its a question I cant answer off-the-cuff like that. These points will normally remain on your license for two years. In Virginia, reckless driving is a class 1 criminal misdemeanor. If you have any questions during the stop itself, ask the officer who issued you the ticket. There are reasons why no self-respecting lawyer would do this to his or her client. Here in Utah, it is a Misdemeanor B, which is the same level of offense as a DUI. That is part of the reason why it is so important to contact a skilled reckless driving attorney as soon as possible after you are charged with reckless driving. Judges typically do this for DUI convictions, repeat reckless driving offenders, and in instances of extreme negligence. However, if you plead guilty and then are unhappy with the result of your plea, you may have already waived your right to appeal. . Eastern District of Virginia District Court, Prince William County Virginia Courthouse, Law Office of Samuel C. Moore, PLLC526 King St., Suite 506Alexandria, Virginia 22314email: [emailprotected]phone: 703.535.7809fax: 571.223.5234, 2023 The Law Office of Sanuel L Moore, PLLC | Document Retention | Advertising & Terms | Privacy & Cookie Policy. First, obtain a certified copy of your driving record from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. That could involve pleading to a "wet reckless.". This lets you avoid criminal charges altogether in exchange for a much lower punishment, such as a small fine, community service, and/or mandatory driving classes. You should know that dry reckless is different from wet reckless. It typically has the same effect as a guilty plea. The Virginia Code defines a number of actions as reckless driving. Reckless driving means driving a car while willingly disregarding the safety of property and people. However, most first-time offenders can avoid jail by instead performing community service. This means that if you drive anywhere in Virginia while suspended you may be charged with the additional crime of driving on a suspended license, which is a misdemeanor crime punishable by jail time and extensive fines. Your Virginia reckless driving defense attorney can help you accomplish this. I am happy to work with you based on your convenience. failure to appear in court is in itself a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. Now its the courts turn. License suspension is mandatory for a . Even with all this helpful information, sometimes you just need to talk. The Virginia Appeals Process. You always look for a way to help your clients. These classes help demonstrate that youve addressed the problem, and feel remorse for your actions. One exception is that your reckless driving conviction may not impact your driving privileges in your home state, and you may not receive points against your license. Pleading a wet and reckless driving charge may only be available for first-time offenders. Lifetime Criminal record: In Virginia you cannot expunge a criminal record. Holcomb Law, P.C. Jail Time: Class 1 Misdemeanors include a possible sentence of 0-12 months in jail. Because if they cant prove an element, or if there is a question of whether or not they can maybe one is a little sketchy on their end- then we would definitely want to plead not guilty. Our office highly recommends speaking with an attorney about the specific facts of your case to determine the best approach. document.getElementById( "ak_js_1" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() ); This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Youre left stunned. If you have any questions about the court date you should reach out to the Clerk of the court. They may be less willing to offer you a favorable plea agreement if you must plead guilty to the offense. EVER. Well outline the basics of each of these penalties below. Accidentally admitting to a crime during the stop will only negatively impact your case down the line. Reckless Driving is not a traffic infraction, it is a misdemeanor. You cannot simply mail in the ticket. But that's only after me looking at the evidence, and talking with the officer and knowing for sure that they have their evidence in order.

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