Virginia Reckless Driving Charges for Out of State Drivers
Virginia is well known for its harsh traffic citations. In fact, some citations are considered criminal charges and come with serious penalties. Virginia reckless driving laws are a good example. In other states, a reckless driving citation might include situations where the driver is swerving, weaving in and out of traffic lanes, or being extremely aggressive while driving. In Virginia, you can get a reckless driving charge for the simple act of speeding, and police write an average of 1,000 or more traffic tickets every day in Fairfax County, Virginia.
These harsh traffic laws can be confusing for out of state drivers. With tourism booming in Virginia, situations where tourists or other visitors are issued a citation are becoming increasingly common. These visitors can benefit from having a local attorney deal with their reckless driving charge. Traffic attorneys in Fairfax, VA are not only licensed to practice law in Virginia, but can also help you deal with the unfamiliar traffic laws in our state.What is Reckless Driving?
In Virginia, like most states, reckless driving includes any type of driving that puts another person in harm’s way. Reckless driving increases the likelihood that an accident that could cause an injury or death will occur. It may also endanger the surrounding property as well.
While you might assume that this definition would only include situations where the driver is really being irresponsible, it can also include situations where you are just being impatient as well. This can include actions such as passing a school bus or an emergency vehicle. The most common citation for reckless driving in Virginia, however, occurs because the driver was speeding. Any time a driver is going 20 mph over the posted speed limit or driving 80 mph or above, the driver is at risk for receiving a citation for reckless driving in Virginia.The Reckless Driving Charge
In Virginia, reckless driving is more than just a moving violation. It is a criminal offense. This is very different from the law in most states. A reckless driving charge can occur if you engage in any of the following activities:
- Failing to yield to the right-of-way
- Spinning wheels (“burning rubber”)
- Street racing
- Illegally passing
- Driving a vehicle with faulty or poorly functioning brakes
- Driving an overloaded vehicle
- Driving next to a vehicle on a one-lane highway
- Driving at excessive speeds for the traffic conditions
Reckless driving can be a serious misdemeanor under Virginia law. Virginia reckless driving penalties could have you face up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, and other various negative consequences that affect your driver’s license.
For out of state drivers, a charge in Virginia may also affect your license back home. In some cases, it could mean that your out-of-state license is suspended or revoked. In North Carolina, for example, your license will likely be suspended for 30 days if you are convicted of driving 15 mph over the speed limit in Virginia. It could also lead to an increase in your auto insurance premiums as well.
Because the violation is a criminal offense, and not just a traffic ticket, you will have to appear to face your charges. For out-of-state offenders, you may be able to waive the appearance, but that may not be your best option. Your attorney will be able to recommend specifically whether you should appear in person or if you can waive your appearance.Getting Help From a Traffic Attorney in Fairfax, VA
Police officers and Judges in Fairfax County, VA mean business when it comes to reckless driving charges, even for out-of-state visitors. Reckless driving charges in Virginia may not seem that serious, but they definitely are—you really are facing jail time, serious fines, and potential license suspension in your home state.
Your best defense in Virginia is to get a local attorney who knows the ropes and can help you with your case right away. Your attorney will be able to build a defense based on the unique facts of your case or work with the state to obtain a favorable plea deal that minimizes the negative consequences of the charges. Your attorney can also help you determine how a conviction in Virginia will affect your license at home. Please visit our blog for more on reckless driving defense strategies.Contact The Law Office of Wilfred W. Yeargan Today
When you appear in court, you can choose to plead guilty, or you can go through a trial. The Law Office of Wilfred W. Yeargan, a dependable Fairfax, VA traffic attorney, can help you decide which option is best for you and your situation. If you would like more information on reckless driving charges, please give us a call or send us a message online to discuss your options or schedule a free consultation.