Q: What is Reckless Driving?
A: There are 15 statutes than can charge the criminal offense of reckless driving. The two most common are: (1) a general charge of reckless driving brought pursuant to Virginia Code Section 46.2-852; and (2) reckless driving by speed brought pursuant to Virginia Code Section 46.2-862, which classifies all speeding in excess of 20 m.p.h. above the speed limit, or driving in excess of 80 m.p.h., as reckless driving per se. Reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor crime.
To prove the general charge of Reckless Driving under Section 46.2-852, the Commonwealth must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant drove a vehicle on any highway or at speed or manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.
- Jail of up to 12 months, or
- Fine of up to $2500 plus court costs, or
- A combination of jail time and a fine
- A loss of license of up to 6 months may also be imposed
Whether the Court will impose some or all of the above penalties depends on the facts of each case and the person’s driving history.
Q: What does a conviction for reckless driving do to my insurance and license?
A: Points on a driving records are not assessed by the Court. They are assessed by the DMV, and depending or one’s driving record, a conviction for reckless driving could result in an administrative suspension of one’s license by the DMV. At a minimum, a person convicted of reckless driving will be assessed (-6) points on their driving record by the DMV. Such a conviction will remain on the driving record and can be considered when determining insurance rates for a period of 11 years after conviction.
Q: Why is it important to be represented by an attorney?
A: Reckless driving is a crime. It is not a traffic offense. There is a significant difference between having a traffic record and being a convicted criminal. Such a conviction can effect employment. If a license is suspended, not only is employment effected, but the daily activities of family life are compromised. Unfortunately, the law has evolved where the average citizen cannot risk representing themselves. The government does not care about your personal situation and has unlimited resources available to prosecute any case it chooses. You need an attorney with actual, successful trial experience. One that will not just strike a deal with the government; but, one that will properly assess your case and plan, with you, its outcome. A Westlake Legal Group attorney is what you need.
[return to top]
Q: What can I expect from the Westlake Legal Group?
A: As part of your defense, attorneys at the Westlake Legal Group will fully examine all aspects of your arrest and the charges. There is no cookie-cutter approach to a criminal defense as each case is different. At a minimum, representation should involve:
- A review of the circumstances of your arrest, to include talking to all available witnesses
- Determination of the availability of pre-trial motions and discovery requests
- Legal research for applicable standards and controlling legal authority.
- Engineering a plan of action to include determining options and consequences of making those decisions.
- Representation at trial and discussion of plea options, if any, presented by the Commonwealth Attorney.
- Properly preserving a record in the event appeal is necessary.
Q: What does such a defense cost?
A: In reckless driving, and other criminal matters, the Westlake Legal Group determines the fee at the time of being retained, based on the nature of the charge and the associated extenuating circumstances. Fees also vary depending on the type of defense selected, such as whether one should seek a jury trial or a bench trial. Usually, criminal defense fees are a flat fee. Westlake Legal Group accepts cash, checks, and all major credit cards.
Westlake Legal Group is your neighborhood law firm, serving all your legal needs. Contact us for assistance with your criminal defense, traffic offense, injury, contract dispute, business issue, real estate issue, or family law matter. We look forward to helping you resolve your problems.
Potomac Falls Professional Center
46175 Westlake Drive, Suite 320
Potomac Falls, VA 20165