Should You Get A Traffic Lawyer in Virginia?
Reckless Driving is a serious, criminal offense in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This comes as quite a shock to many out-of-state drivers as well as many life-long Virginians. If you have been charged with reckless driving you should strongly consider hiring an attorney. Here are the top five reasons why:
Reason #1: Criminal Record
Reckless Driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor. It is the same level of offense in Virginia as Drunk Driving or Prostitution. If you are convicted then you will have a criminal record which may appear in routine background checks.
Reason #2: Saving Money
How can hiring an attorney save you money? There are two possible ways: First, if an attorney is able to have your charge reduced or dismissed, then the impact on your insurance premium may be minimized or eliminated entirely. Secondly, if your attorney is successful in obtaining a dismissal, then you may avoid paying the fine as well.
Reason #3: Suspension of your Driving Privileges
Your license can be suspended for up to six months if convicted of Reckless Driving. While the court can only suspend driving licenses for Virginia residents, it can prohibit out-of-state drivers from operating a motor-vehicle within its borders. An attorney may help to prevent your license from being suspended, or in the event that it is suspended, request that a restricted license be issued to allow for travel to and from work or school.
Reason #4: Driving Record
This is especially important if your employment requires frequent travel, but it should be a consideration for anyone that drives. A Reckless Driving conviction adds six points to the driving record of Virginia drivers. The amount of points that this translates to varies from state to state, but accruing too many points can cause the DMV to administratively suspend your license. Additionally, the more offenses that appear on your record, the harder it is to defend yourself in any future driving cases. A judge may be hesitant to show leniency if you have a Reckless Driving conviction on your record.
Reason #5: Jail
Under Virginia law the maximum jail time you could face for a Reckless Driving charge is twelve months. Realistically, if you are issued a citation for Reckless Driving by Speed, and were traveling at less than 90 mph, then you are unlikely to receive a jail sentence. However, if you were issued a citation for Reckless Driving by Speed, and were traveling more than 100 mph, then you are very likely to receive a jail sentence. An attorney can ensure that you receive the best defense possible and help to prevent or limit any potential jail sentence.
How much an attorney can help with your specific case depends on a number of factors. The assistance of an attorney can never guarantee that your offense will be reduced, but when charged with any crime it is worth your time to consult with an attorney regarding the potential outcomes.