Mecklenburg County, Virginia: High Speed Reckless Driving Ticket (90/70) Reduced
Today in Mecklenburg, Virginia traffic court, I represented a client charged with Reckless Driving under the Code of Virginia section 46.2-862 which states:
“§ 46.2-862. Exceeding speed limit.
A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.”
The defendant was in violation of part (i) and (ii) of the code section. Although Reckless Driving is a class 1 misdemeanor in the Commonwealth of Virginia which can carry up to a year in jail, although judges typically will not put someone behind bars. However, starting at 90 mph, a recipient of a reckless driving ticket is in danger of facing a short time in jail. As such, it is crucial to act as soon as possible if you have been cited for going 90 mph or higher.
At high speeds such as this, several things can be helpful in obtaining a good outcome in your court case:
- A knowledgeable traffic attorney with experience in the court you are summoned to appear in.
- A legal defense or technicality which can get the charge dropped such as a mistake by the officer (Expired radar calibration).
- Driving school and/or community service completed before court to show you are taking your charge seriously.
- A resume’ showing that you are a productive citizen who would be negatively impacted by a reckless driving conviction.
- A letter from someone significant such as an employer, professor, or government official demonstrating that you are a person of good character.
- A clean driving record
- A transcript if you are a student
In this particular case, the defendant was able to avoid a court appearance and have her charge reduced. Her original misdemeanor reckless driving charge was amended to an infraction; she avoided jail time and a license suspension.
This reduction from 90/70 reckless driving to a 79/70 speeding ticket removes the ‘misdemeanor’ and carries less driving record points. The reduced speed prevents some states, such as North Carolina and Michigan, from suspending an offender’s privilege to drive. In some cases, speeding ticket convictions will not get reported to an out of state DMV.