Virginia Code § 46.2-852 defines reckless driving as driving a vehicle carelessly at a speed or manner that can endanger a person’s life or property. Reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia which carries a maximum fine of $2,500.00, jail time of up to 12 months, and could result in the revocation of your driver’s license.
In Virginia, reckless driving may be comprised of a number of traffic violations. As an example, driving over 80 mph or driving 20 mph or faster than the maximum lawful speed is reckless driving. A reckless driving ticket is a misdemeanor that comes with strict punishments and can stay on your criminal record permanently. It must not be taken lightly.
Can you get your reckless driving ticket dropped or reduced?
Only an attorney can inform you on all the possible defenses in your case. If you get a reckless driving charge, contact a competent reckless driving attorney who will help you study the facts of the case and give you an idea of what to expect in court.
You can still have your case resolved in a positive way even when the evidence is stacked up against you. Depending on the details of your case, your attorney could have your reckless driving ticket dismissed or reduced. Although a dismissal is the ideal goal, reducing the charge is often the best that can be achieved.
Are there other options you can use to get your ticket reduced?
Under Virginia Code § 46.2-869, the judge can reduce reckless driving to improper driving if you are found to have minimal culpability. Several factors can be considered to determine whether culpability is minor. An experienced attorney will present the factors a judge finds most convincing to better the odds of getting reckless driving penalties reduced.
Reckless driving has very different penalties than improper driving. Reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor that carries jail time of up to one year and a $2,500 maximum fine. A six-month suspension of your driver’s license will follow and a six-point demerit on your Virginia driving record which will remain for eleven years. The conviction will stay on your criminal record permanently.
Improper driving is a moving violation that carries a fine of up to $500. It is one of the lowest-level traffic offenses in Virginia. An improper driving conviction has no license suspension or prospect of jail time. What’s more, only a three-point demerit will reflect on your Virginia driving record. These point demerits will be on your record for just three years rather than eleven.
An improper driving conviction is a better outcome than a conviction of reckless driving. A reckless driving conviction will remain on your criminal record permanently but improper driving only impacts your driving record for a short time.
Agreement with the officer
Some judges or courts will consider a recommendation made by the officer who wrote the original ticket. That’s because the officer was at the scene and the one who dealt with you at the time.
The officer who cited you may be in the best position to know what a fair judgment is in your case. It pays to be polite to law enforcement officers for this reason alone.
Driver improvement clinic
The judge can still give you a break apart from improper driving even if there is enough evidence to find you guilty. Under Virginia law, attendance at a driver improvement class may reduce your charge or have it dismissed entirely. This option won’t be available if you hold a commercial driver’s license.
It is important to find out what the judge would likely do because not all judges use this option. Again, consult a local attorney who knows the judge who will handle your case to ensure you get reliable advice.
Community service is also used by some judges as an option to reduce a reckless driving ticket. It can be one way to penalize you but it can offer you an opportunity to earn a break on the charge.
If you are charged with reckless driving, our legal team at Holcomb Law, P.C. can help you get the best possible result in your case. Call us today at (757) 509-7832 to schedule a free initial consultation.