Everybody speeds occasionally, it usually isn’t a huge deal. However, if you are above 20 mph over the speed limit or above 80 mph, it becomes a jailable offense. So, if you plan on speeding home because dinner is getting cold, you should know what can happen if you get a ticket for reckless driving in Virginia.
Why does my ticket say reckless?
When you get pulled over for speeding, the officer could give you a ticket right then. Usually, he will first ask you a few questions. The officer’s goal is to determine if you have committed any other crimes, or if there is a reason for him to go easy on you. Chances are that if you have previous speeding tickets on your record, he won’t be nice to you. The officer has the discretion to write any number on the ticket he hands you. If you were going 50 mph in a 25, he can write 50/25 (Reckless) or he can write 44/25 (Speeding). The difference is very important because in one scenario he is letting you off with a speeding ticket. In the other, you will have to go to court and fight a reckless driving in Virginia.
What are the consequences?
Reckless driving in Virginia is a class one misdemeanor. This means that you could spend up to a year in jail, lose your license for six months, get 6 points on your license, and could have to pay a $2500 fine. Furthermore, there may be other collateral consequences to having a reckless driving on your record. For instance, if you have an upcoming adjustment of status interview, you could be denied because of the charge. Other consequences, include being denied for future jobs and clearances.
What do I do about it?
The first thing you should do if you get a ticket for reckless driving in Virginia is to contact your lawyer. If you do not have a lawyer, you should get one. If you cannot afford an attorney, let the judge know and they will give you a public defender. The second thing you should do is sign up for a driving improvement course and get your speedometer calibrated. Driving improvement courses will reduce the points on your license and will reflect favorably on you. Getting you speedometer calibrated will produce a certificate potentially showing that your speedometer was not accurately displaying how fast you were going. You should leave the rest to your lawyer. If you provide both evidence of your driving improvement course and your calibration to your attorney, they will be able to get you the best deal possible in your circumstances.
This article is not a substitute for legal advice. If you need an attorney, please find a lawyer who can help you if you live near Fairfax, Loudon, and Arlington and Prince William counties or call us at 703-672-2165.