Many people are under the impression that a reckless driving ticket is just like a speeding ticket, so they accept their guilt without discussing it in court. However, Virginia has very strict consequences for those who are recklessly driving, which could potentially result in jail time or other penalties if you plead guilty instead of taking the case to court. Depending on the circumstances, you may receive different penalties for reckless driving. However, reckless driving in Richmond always comes with more severe punishments than the average speeding ticket.
What Is Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving in Richmond Virginia is legally defined as driving over 80 miles per hour, regardless of the speed limit, or driving 20 miles or more over the speed limit. Even if you think you were driving safely, merely going a few miles over the speed limit in an area with 75 miles per hour limit is enough to get you a reckless driving ticket. In Virginia, reckless driving is classified as a class 1 misdemeanor, which is considered the worst class of misdemeanor. Many law enforcement officers will issue reckless driving tickets if any accident occurs. However, these charges rarely hold up in court because it is difficult for the law enforcement officer to provide proof that a law was violated.
What Are the Penalties of Reckless Driving Convictions?
Virginia law says that the maximum sentence a reckless driver may receive is one year in jail, $2,500 in fines, a suspended driver’s license for six months, and 6 points on a driver’s license. Everyone does not receive these penalties so that some people may be given a lighter sentence. There are many individual circumstances that may affect a judge’s decision to give a light or a harsh sentence. Typically, jail time is only considered if a person was going 90 miles per hour over the speed limit. However, behaving aggressively towards the police officer or driving in a way that endangers a person or property is more likely to result in jail time. If a person is convicted of reckless driving, they will have a criminal charge placed permanently on their record, which may endanger employment or housing opportunities.
Though the penalties for reckless driving in Richmond, VA may be severe, an experienced lawyer can help you to navigate the legal complexities. Contact the law office of Gregory R. Hough today to learn more information about how we can assist you.