Reckless Driving Attorney in Abingdon & Tazewell, Virginia
Reckless driving can have serious and devastating consequences. Because it poses a risk to the health and safety of others, states have laws against it. Virginia is no exception. Moreover, reckless driving is a moving violation, which can be defined as any crime committed by the driver of a vehicle while it’s in motion. If you are found guilty of committing a moving violation, you will pay more than a fine. That is why moving violations warrant experienced legal representation. There is too much at stake to not have help with mitigating the charge.
At the Letsen Law Firm, our reckless driving attorney represents clients from Abingdon, Tazewell, Bristol City, Washington County, Smyth County and throughout Russell County, Virginia. Contact us today to get the experienced, individualized counsel you deserve.
What Is Considered Reckless Driving in Virginia?
Virginia statute defines reckless driving as operating a vehicle in any way that could endanger the safety of others on the roadway. This may or may not involve speeding. Even if you are driving at or below the speed limit, if your actions put others at risk, you could be charged with reckless driving.
The rules of the road are designed to protect everyone on Virginia’s roadways. The dangerous behavior of someone operating a motor vehicle compromises everyone’s safety. If you have any questions about reckless driving charges or statutes in Virginia, reach out to us today.
What Are Some Examples of Reckless Driving?
Any of the following actions would pose little danger if you committed them while walking. However, when you commit them while operating a heavy object, such as a motor vehicle, the risk to others grows exponentially.
For example, excessive speeding could result in a reckless driving charge. Under Virginia law, driving 20 miles per hour over the speed limit (and driving 85 miles per hour or faster regardless of the speed limit) qualifies as reckless driving. Other actions considered reckless under state law include:
Driving too fast for conditions, even if you are driving at or under the posted speed limit. An example of this would be driving the speed limit on the highway when there are patches of ice and snow on the roadway
Failure to yield, such as running a red light or not coming to a full stop at a stop sign, which puts other motorists and pedestrians at risk for collision
Following too closely, also referred to as “tailgating.” The law requires vehicles to keep a distance between vehicles sufficient to be able to stop quickly without hitting the vehicle in front of them
Street racing and aggressive driving
Passing violations such as passing a stopped school bus, passing another vehicle at a railroad crossing, passing in a no-passing zone, passing on the crest of a hill or on a curve, and passing two vehicles traveling beside each other when there is no third lane in the same direction
Driving an unsafe vehicle, such as one with faulty brakes, steering, lights, tires, and other defective items
Driving with disregard for others in parking lots
Driving abreast of another vehicle in the same lane,
Driving while your view is obstructed, such as when the window is ice-covered or items on the dashboard prohibit open sight lines.
What Are the Consequences of a Reckless Driving Conviction?
Reckless driving is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor offense in Virginia. If convicted, you will have six points assessed against your driver’s license. If you are assessed 12 points in 12 months or 18 points in 24 months, you could lose your privilege to drive in Virginia.
Assessment of 18 points in 12 months or less or 24 points in 24 months or less will result in the suspension of your driver’s license for 90 days. You will also be required to complete a driver improvement course. Once these requirements are met, your license status will be probationary for six months.
If the commission of the reckless driving misdemeanor offense you were driving with a license that was suspended or revoked due to another moving violation, or if you cause the death of someone, you will face a Class 6 felony charge with even greater potential penalties.
Points on your Virginia driving record don’t just put your license at risk. Insurance companies use points to assess their risk of insuring drivers. The more points you have, the higher your insurance rates will be. Some insurance companies may be unwilling to insure you at all.
A reckless driving conviction may also result in the assessment of fines. There is a minimum fine of $250 and court costs in Virginia.
Reckless Driving Defense Attorney in Abingdon and Tazewell, Virginia
You can see how a reckless driving conviction can wreak havoc on your finances and your freedom. Losing your license for any period of time can affect your job, education, and your ability to transport your children. If you have been charged with reckless driving in Abingdon, Tazewell, Smyth County, Bristol or the surrounding areas in Virginia, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Reach out to us at the Letsen Law Firm today.