Virginia Reckless Driving Charge: More Common During Holidays?
If Charged, Read this Virginia Criminal Attorney and Fairfax Reckless Driving Lawyer‘s Answers to these 3 Questions:
Should I be aware of any special considerations if I am an out of state driver?
Is it more likely to be charged with reckless driving in Virginia in December, or are the police more concerned with other crimes?
How likely is jail time for a Virginia reckless driving charge, and does it solely depend on speed?
Visiting friends and family members over the holidays is what makes the season so great. But with the major interstate highways and roadways like the Fairfax County Parkway, I-95, 66, 495 (and the lost could go on…), out of state travelers visiting loved ones in Northern Virginia may not be aware of the strict nature of Virginia reckless driving laws, and therefore could be susceptible to accidentally forgetting how important paying attention to speed is.
Depending on the driver’s record, age, and the nature of the charge, reckless driving in Virginia could be a moderately serious offense to a very serious offense. As a Fairfax reckless driving lawyer with experience handling out many types of moving traffic violations as well as serious traffic charges–like DWI–I highly encourage those charged speak with a local Fairfax reckless driving attorney to receive a price quote. Many will talk to you for free.
Sometimes prospective travelers ask me,
am I more likely be charged with reckless driving in December?
The motivation behind this question and those like it may have something to do with the fact that many of us know we will be traveling to see relatives over the holidays, but perhaps have records we cannot risk tarnishing. No matter the reason, it struck me as something worth finding out.
As a Fairfax reckless driving lawyer, I had my research team look into this, and you can find the results below. When drivers are charged with speeding in the 90′s and higher, jail time becomes an automatic part of the discussion. Just how likely that jail time could be depends on a multitude of factors, which are listed in section three of this post.
Have you already been arrested and charged with a Fairfax DWI offense?
No matter your past record, if you have been charged recently for a Virginia reckless driving offense, I would encourage you to consult with a local Fairfax criminal defense attorney and reckless driving lawyer. Many Fairfax County criminal lawyers and traffic attorneys offer free consultations, including my firm, Vincenzes Law, PLLC.
It may be possible to negotiate with the Commonwealth’s Attorney for a plea bargain requiring you to enter a guilty plea in exchange for a lighter charge, such as a non-criminal traffic citation. This can significantly reduce the negative and potentially costly VA DMV demerit points. Every case is different, and for some clients, it is important to take certain actions before their case hearing, in order to accomplish their goals.
Fairfax Reckless Driving Lawyer: Considerations for Out of State Drivers and Others
Out of state drivers, or drivers not licensed in Virginia, are typically told by the charging officer at the time of the alleged offense that drivers need to make arrangements to appear at court, due to the criminal nature of the offense. Sometimes, a driver may not have to appear, but only plan on not appearing for a reckless driving charge in Virginia if your attorney has told you that you have this choice.
Some Fairfax County traffic attorneys who prosecute those charged with offenses will offer a very favorable deal for a client of a Virginia defense attorney who has taken some measure or action to show good faith. Examples include driving courses and obtaining records from a different jurisdiction. Usually, the officers in Fairfax and the Commonwealth Attorney in traffic court will have a person’s driving record in Virginia. Sometimes, it is important for an out of state driver to go to their motor vehicle agency and obtain a copy of such record. (The MVA is to Maryland as the DMV is to Virginia).
Fairfax County Reckless Driving Charges in December vs. Other Months
Do more people travel to Fairfax County over the holidays, or away to other counties and states? This would seem to be a factor behind the frequency of reckless driving charges in December compared with other months out of the year (in this case, July and August). About 1,700 arrests in Fairfax County occurring in the months of July and August of 2013 revealed that about 6.7% of all criminal charges during that period were for reckless driving. This was about the same as DWI and DWI-related offenses, found to be slightly below reckless driving (6.5%).
809 arrests in Fairfax County from December were analyzed recently, and the results may be surprising as far as reckless driving is concerned. Reckless driving charges occurred slightly less frequently; about 5% in December, out of total charges. DWI arrests, however, more than doubled at 13% of total arrests. (Source: Fairfax County arrest records, accessed December 28, 2013).
Virginia Reckless Driving Jail Time Chances
If you are charged with reckless driving by speed, you could go to jail. Whether or not a judge will sentence you to jail depends on numerous factors, not only speed. That said, the speed of the driver is perhaps one of the most important aspects when making this assessment or prediction.
As a rule of thumb (cases where the posted limit is over 45 mph) 90 mph and higher is when many local Virginia reckless driving and Fairfax reckless driving lawyers point out to potential clients and clients that jail time is not to be overlooked when considering all possibilities. A private discussion with a local Fairfax reckless driving attorney is important, because each case is different and no rule can be said to truly apply across the board. For example, speeding at 90 mph is different when the speed limit is 55 mph, as opposed to an alleged offense of 90 mph in a 25 mph zone. You can probably guess which case is more serious than the other.
Other factors include
- the overall driving record of the accused,
- completion of any driving classes, and
- other facts and circumstances surrounding the charge*
*such as the nature of the conversation with the police officer involved; whether an accident took place; and whether or not children were in the vehicle, among other things
Sometimes, a technical defense may exist and it will require a legal professional (typically) to point it out. Example: calibration of device (lidar, radar, etc,)
If you face a criminal charge or traffic violation in Northern Virginia:
Many Fairfax criminal lawyers and Fairfax County reckless driving attorneys will talk to a charged individual at no cost. Many even will provide a flat fee quote. To find out the positive points, weak points, possible action plans, and even plausible defenses, talk to our Fairfax Reckless Driving Lawyer by calling: