Unfortunately, many people who are charged with reckless driving have a misconception about what the offense is and the consequences that they could face. This can result in them facing harsher penalties than they could have if they understood the facts about this crime.
Common Misconceptions About Reckless Driving in Virginia That Are Not True
Sorting through the facts and common myths about reckless driving is important so that you fully understand the long-term consequences that a conviction can have on your life. This can help you make important choices that can result in a better outcome. Common myths that you do not want to believe include:
- You received a speeding ticket. While you can be charged with reckless driving for speeding, this offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor, not a speeding ticket. The penalty, if you are convicted, is a jail sentence of up to 12 months, a fine not exceeding $2,500, and driver’s license suspension. In very serious cases, reckless driving can be charged as a felony. In addition, you will have a permanent criminal record that can limit your ability to obtain employment, loans, and more.
- You were not arrested. You may not realize that you have been arrested because you were not handcuffed, booked, and taken into custody as is common when charged with committing other crimes. However, the “ticket” that the police gave you when you were charged with reckless driving is a summons to appear in court. By signing it, you promise to attend your court hearings.
- You do not have to go to court. Even if you want to plead guilty and pay the fine, you are required to attend a court hearing to enter your plea and be sentenced in a reckless driving case. If you fail to appear at your scheduled hearing, the judge could impose a harsher penalty and issue a warrant for your arrest.
- You can handle your case without an attorney. Given the potential serious penalties and long-term consequences of a reckless driving conviction, you cannot afford to represent yourself. You need an experienced reckless driving attorney who can raise your defenses, obtain a copy of your driving record, and present mitigating factors, such as your past community service or completion of a driver’s improvement class. This may result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a less serious traffic offense.
Have you been charged with reckless driving in the Norfolk area? Call our office today to schedule your free consultation to learn about what you can expect at your court hearing and how we can help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.