Many people do not understand that reckless driving is a serious criminal charge that goes beyond a simple traffic ticket. While traffic tickets are relatively harmless, particularly if you only have one on your driving record, reckless driving not only results in many points against your driver’s license as well as a criminal record. In this post I will be discussing the possible consequences of reckless driving and why you should consult with an attorney prior to going to court if you have been charged with this crime in Virginia Beach.
Virginia reckless driving criminal charges can result in high monetary fines and unforeseen consequences
Reckless driving is a charge given to a person who is driving in a way that is a danger to the public. The most common types of reckless driving charges are for going 20 miles or more over the speed limit or traveling at speeds in excess of 85 mph. However, a variety of unsafe driving behaviors may also qualify as “reckless.” These include weaving in and out of traffic, following other cars too closely, driving over medians, or drag racing.
It is easy to underestimate the severity of the offense if you are are stopped for reckless driving by a Virginia Beach officer. A reckless driving ticket looks similar to a normal speeding ticket but its consequences are vastly different. Such a charge is a class 1 misdemeanor; this means that not only will six points be automatically applied to your driver’s license, but you may also be sentenced to six months in jail, your license will be suspended for six months, and you will have to pay a $2,500 fine. Furthermore, the criminal charge will show up in background checks. This could result in difficulties finding employment in government agencies as well as jobs that require a clean driving record. You may even have difficulty traveling to other countries if you have a misdemeanor criminal conviction. All criminal convictions, no matter how seemingly trivial, are put into a database and each individual country may choose to deny entry to any person with a criminal record. Finally, car rental agencies may refuse to rent you a car in the future, even once your license has been reinstated, if you have a reckless driving conviction.
Driver’s should not pay a reckless driving ticket without consulting a Virginia Beach attorney
When you are given a reckless driving citation, as with normal speeding tickets, a telephone number will appear on the ticket that allows you to pay the fine. When you pay the fine, you are automatically admitting guilt; in the case of a speeding ticket, this has a relatively little impact on your life. However, by paying a reckless driving ticket, you are automatically pleading guilty to a misdemeanor criminal charge without ever stepping foot inside a courtroom. This will result in a dramatic raise in your insurance rates, as well as other possible consequences previously discussed. Hiring an attorney can not only save you a large amount of money, but fighting the ticket can prevent an embarrassing and frustrating criminal charge on your record.
In my next post, I will discuss the process that occurs when you hire an attorney to fight a reckless driving charge. If you have been stopped for reckless driving in Virginia Beach then do not delay. Consult an attorney immediately prior to taking any action.