Reckless driving charges are not uncommon in Virginia. If you drive on Virginia’s roadways, you should be aware of the laws and the consequences of a reckless driving conviction. While these charges can seem scary at first, it’s important to know that you have the right to defend yourself when facing reckless driving charges. While these charges are criminal in nature, a conviction doesn’t necessarily mean jail time or a license suspension.
Understanding the laws in Virginia
Reckless driving generally means driving at a speed or in a manner that could endanger another person on the road. It’s considered reckless driving if you’re operating a vehicle that doesn’t have proper brakes or you’re not able to control it in a safe manner. You may be charged with reckless driving if you don’t signal properly when turning or pass a vehicle when it’s not permitted. Passing a stopped school bus or not yielding or slowing down for emergency vehicles may cause you to be charged with reckless driving.
Speed is also a factor in reckless driving convictions. Drivers can be charged with reckless driving when their speed is 20 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit. The state also considers it reckless driving if you exceed 85 miles per hour on any road in Virginia. Road conditions can also factor into what is a safe travel speed, so it’s important to always take weather, traffic and other conditions into consideration when driving.
What to do when you’re accused of reckless driving
Police officers have some discretion when deciding if reckless driving is an appropriate charge based on the circumstances. There are many different factors that go into the decision of what to charge you with when you’re pulled over by the police. If you’re pulled over and accused of reckless driving, don’t panic. Stay calm and remember that it’s not a requirement for you to answer questions at that time.
Once you know what charges you’re facing, it’s time to decide on a defense strategy. Every person who is facing criminal charges has the right to provide a defense against the accusations in court. You aren’t alone when facing reckless driving charges, and it’s beneficial to have someone reliable in your corner. Reckless driving charges can be scary for a Virginia driver, but by understanding your rights, you can defend yourself against the charges with a strategy based on the specifics of your case.