This may be the single most common question potential clients ask when they call our office. You’ve been charged with reckless driving in Virginia – either for speeding, failing to pay attention while driving, passing a stopped school bus, or a host of other reasons – but do you really need a lawyer to deal with this charge?
Well, the fact is, it is not always a cut and dry answer. First and foremost, you must understand and realize that reckless driving in Virginia is a misdemeanor offense. That is, it is a criminal charge that will remain on your record if you either plead guilty to reckless driving or are convicted after a trial. Any time you are facing a criminal charge, it is extremely difficult for any attorney to not advise you to retain legal counsel. The criminal justice system is not an easy thing to maneuver, or sometimes even understand. Having help at your side that has dealt with dozens, if not hundreds, or reckless driving cases is undoubtedly an advantage.
What Are the Likely Penalties of a Reckless Driving Conviction in Virginia?
This varies quite substantially by jurisdiction. It always depends on what your driving record looks like, whether you have a past criminal record, why you were charged with reckless driving in the first place (where you going 21 over on the freeway, or were you swerving across three lanes of road?), and even how you interacted with the officer that stopped you.
The basic fact is that in Virginia, reckless driving is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, which means that upon conviction you could be sentenced to not more than 12 months in jail and/or fined up to $2,500, and have your license suspended for up to 6 months. Are you likely be sent to 12 months in jail for your first-time reckless driving jail? No. But you do need to be aware that it is treated as a serious crime in Virginia.
Should I Hire an Attorney For a Reckless Driving Charge?
Any person charged with reckless driving in Virginia should take the charge seriously because it is a crime that could result in a criminal conviction on your record. Every case is different and depends on the circumstances. What is your driving record? What is your criminal record? Why were you stopped in the first place? What jurisdiction did this take place? These are all issues that you should discuss with an experienced reckless driving attorney. If you have been charged with reckless driving in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Prince William, or Loudoun counties, give the reckless driving attorneys at Ervin Kibria a call today for a free consultation.