What follows is part of a blog post published on the Washington Post that highlights the dangers in not treating a Reckless Driving by Speed charge seriously:

“Meet Kenny Johnson.

In February, he was driving with a friend to a funeral in North Carolina. While in southern Virginia, his companion got a little antsy and told Johnson to pick up the pace a little. A few minutes later, he was pulled over by an Emporia police officer and ticketed for doing 81 mph in a 70 mph zone.

Because the city of Emporia treats speeding offenses over 80 mph as “reckless driving,” as they are allowed to under Virginia law, the officer also cited him for that misdemeanor offense. It was his first ticket in 22 years.

Two months later, Johnson got a letter from the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles informing him that the perfunctory speeding violation was enough for him to lose his license for six months.”

What the blog failed to mention is that Mr. Johnson did not contest this charge AND/OR failed to hire an attorney to contest his charge. Because he failed to treat this seriously, he now has a misdemeanor criminal conviction as well as some unforeseen consequences in his loss of license.  D.C. is not the only jurisdiction to do this. I have represented clients in Michigan and New Hampshire who both had their licenses suspended for three months (Michigan) and two months (New Hampshire) because they did not treat this charge seriously and contest the charge. Since they were convicted of reckless driving in Virginia, their own state suspended their license. I had to file a motion to reopen the case after the fact and fix the situation. Fortunately, both clients hired me within sixty days of their convictions in Virginia and I fixed them both and got them both reduced charges that were not misdemeanors and therefore carried no license suspension.

Don’t make the mistake of believing this is a simple speeding ticket. If you are charged under Virginia Code 46.2-862 then you are charged with a criminal misdemeanor and you may be subject to having your license suspended in your own state.

To read the full blog of the quoted section above click here.

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