Consequences for New Kent County Reckless Driving Conviction
Most Virginia reckless driving citations are charged as class 1 misdemeanor offenses. Although these are relatively low-level charges, they can still result in a criminal conviction that can stay on your record for up to 11 years. If you have previous traffic violations, the penalties can be increased. If someone is injured because of the actions that led to your reckless driving citation, the applicable penalties will be even more severe.
The possible penalties for drivers who plead or are found guilty of class 1 misdemeanor traffic offenses include:
- Fines of up to $2,500
- Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
- Six moving violation points on your Virginia driver’s license (which can accumulate and lead to suspension or revocation of your license)
- Mandatory attendance at driver improvement classes
- Mandatory community service hours
- Jail time of up to a year
Other possible collateral consequences of a misdemeanor reckless driving conviction include increased auto insurance rates or denial of vehicle insurance, and potential negative employment or professional consequences (including possible loss of or inability to obtain professional licenses).
Virginia has numerous other ways to categorize reckless driving offenses that can elevate the charges far above that of a class 1 misdemeanor (with increased penalties for higher charges). Some of these are extremely serious. If your traffic ticket has “RD” written on it, this indicates that you are facing reckless driving charges—you need to retain an attorney immediately. Especially serious variations of reckless driving charges include:
- Aggressive driving
- Reckless driving in a parking lot
- Failure to properly signal
- Failing to yield
- Passing two vehicles abreast
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Passing an emergency vehicle
- Driving two abreast in a single lane
- Passing on a grade or on a curve
- Passing at a railroad grade crossing
- View obstructed or control of vehicle impaired (including faulty brakes)
- Driving too fast for the road or weather conditions (even if not speeding)
- Racing (including aiding and abetting a drag race)
Representation of Out-of-State Clients
For out-of-state residents or active military personnel, it can be difficult or impossible to contest a traffic ticket in Virginia courts. Getting a citation for reckless driving can put you between a rock and a hard place. Whether you were driving through New Kent County for business travel, leisure travel, or on your way to one of the nearby Army or Coast Guard bases when you were ticketed, it may be extremely inconvenient or impossible to come back to the area for court appearances (possibly multiple court appearances!). Our attorneys have experience representing out-of-state residents and active duty personnel charged with reckless driving in New Kent County. We understand the gravity of the charges you’re facing and the possible penalties, and we will steadfastly represent your interests while minimizing your required attendance and the overall inconvenience to you. Depending on the facts of your case, you may not need to appear in court at all!
High Rates of Success and Client Satisfaction
The traffic attorneys at Leavitt & Martin have a proven track record of obtaining good results for our clients. Recently, we were able to successfully argue for a reduction of a reckless driving charge to a “defective equipment” charge. This lesser charge is a non-moving violation that carries no moving violation “points.” As a result, penalties entered against the client were significantly less than those she faced on the original reckless driving charge. Obtaining this reduction was an excellent outcome to a potentially grim situation.
Experienced Reckless Driving Defense
Do not submit payment for a reckless driving ticket! If you do, you will lose your right to contest the citation in court! You will be pleading guilty to a Class 1 misdemeanor!
To avoid potentially significant long-term consequences that can decimate your driving privileges, your wallet, and even your personal and professional reputations, you need advice and guidance from a qualified, skilled attorney. The traffic attorneys at Leavitt & Martin understand the local laws, procedures, and court systems. They will defend your rights and do everything in their power to help reduce the potentially calamitous effects of a reckless driving ticket.
When you are ticketed for reckless driving, there are three possible ways your case can be resolved.
Conviction: A conviction is the worst possible outcome for a reckless driving charge. It carries with it significant, serious consequences, both immediately and for years afterward. If you pay a ticket without challenging it, a conviction will automatically be entered against you. If you appear in court without an attorney to challenge your ticket, it’s likely the court will find you guilty as charged and enter a conviction. To reduce your chances of being convicted on reckless driving charges, retain an experienced lawyer—especially if you have:
- Been charged with exceeding the speed limit by 30 mph or more, or were traveling over 90 mph
- A driving record, previous traffic convictions, or other complicating factors
- Been charged with dangerous driving (swerving, tailgating, etc.)
You have the opportunity to present evidence to the Court and defend yourself against the charges. One possible outcome of contesting your ticket can be that the Court reduces the charges to ones that carry less severe possible penalties. Examples of reduced charges include speeding charges with lower penalties, improper driving charges, or non-moving violations that don’t come with mandatory license points (“driving with defective equipment,” for example). An experienced attorney will work with you to present evidence and attempt to obtain a reduction in your charges. You have the best chance of obtaining a reduction if:
- The charges don’t involve high speeds (for example, if you have been cited for driving 20 mph over a 20-mph speed limit, so traveling only 40 mph)
You have a clean driving record prior to the ticket
You have successfully completed a driving school course or community service
Obtaining quality legal representation from a respected law firm can dramatically improve your chances of getting your charges reduced.
Dismissal: Although it’s not common for a court to dismiss reckless charges entirely, it does occasionally happen. A court may enter a dismissal if the officer who issued the ticket made a mistake (for example, marking the wrong citation number, date, or violation description on the ticket) or if there is another kind of technical or mechanical error (for example, a malfunctioning radar gun or failure to produce a calibration certificate). Representation by a lawyer who can spot these kinds of outlying situations can significantly increase your chances of getting your charges dismissed.
Quality Legal Representation
We offer reasonable, transparent rates for our legal representation, starting with a free consultation. Our skilled defense attorneys are honest, friendly, and experienced. If you have been charged with reckless driving in New Kent County, Virginia, contact us to represent your interests and help put your traffic issues squarely in the rear-view mirror. Call us directly at 804-873-4004 or contact us online.