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Penalties for Fairfax County Reckless Driving Charges

Reckless driving in Fairfax county includes a wide range of offenses. From driving at unsafe speeds to distracted driving and even failing to use your headlights after dark, many actions—from the seemingly benign to the severely dangerous--can qualify as reckless driving. Regardless of what happened, reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor, so the penalties are often harsh. In addition, those convicted of reckless driving can also suffer a range of other consequences from DMV points against their licenses to insurance premium increases. If you are charged with reckless driving, your best course of action is to contact a Fairfax reckless driving attorney. The team at S&R Law Firm, PLLC has handled many reckless driving cases over our history and we may be able to help you too.

What Counts as Reckless Driving in Fairfax?

In general, reckless driving involves driving in such a way that you disregard the safety and property of other drivers, or that of pedestrians. To be convicted of reckless driving, it is not necessary for the prosecutor to demonstrate that you intentionally drove recklessly; they only need to prove that you consciously disregarded the risks you driving posed to others.

Some examples of reckless driving in Virginia include:

  • Driving 20 mph or more above the posted speed limit
  • Driving at speeds of 80 or more mph in any speed zone
  • Passing a school or emergency vehicle,
  • Failing to drive at a safe speed in harsh weather conditions
  • Racing other cars
  • Using your cell phone while driving
  • Running red lights or stop signs

These are just a few of many actions that could result in a reckless driving charge. As experienced reckless driving attorneys serving Fairfax, we see these types of cases frequently. The good news is that while reckless driving is a serious charge, if you work with a good lawyer it is often possible to have your charges reduced. To find out more, contact S&R Law Firm, PLLC for a review of your case.

Reckless Driving Penalties

In Fairfax, and in the state of Virginia, reckless driving is a criminal offense, meaning it carries not only fines, but also possible jail time. The specific penalties you will face will depend on the severity of your charge. Since some reckless driving scenarios are more dangerous than others, their penalties are more severe. In general, if you drive recklessly and it results in harm to a person or their property, you can expect a more serious punishment. Regardless of your action, the mandatory minimum for a reckless driving charge is $250, under Virginia Code Section 46.2-868. But the worst part of being convicted of reckless driving is that it is a criminal charge, which means it will stay on your DMV record for 11 years, and on your criminal record for a lifetime.

As far as penalties, the maximum penalties for a class 1 misdemeanor include 12 months of jail time and up to $2500 in fines. Your driver’s license could also be suspended for up to six months if you are convicted. What’s worse, since the charge will appear on your criminal record, it could impact your ability to get a job or disqualify you from military service. Occupations that require any form of driving are unlikely to hire someone with a reckless driving conviction because they know that person will be expensive to insure. Even worse, if you already have a job that requires driving, you could potentially be in danger of losing it after such a charge. Since the DMV will also put six points on your license for a reckless driving charge, a suspension or revocation of your license more likely in the future if you get speeding tickets or commit other traffic offenses.

When it comes to fines, in addition to the potential $2500 you could be charged if convicted, you will be responsible for court fees, restricted license fees, and license reinstatement fees in the future, which can amount to hundreds of additional dollars. These costs can quickly add up, creating serious financial hardship for many people charged with reckless driving. Unfortunately, people are often overly worried about the costs of a Fairfax reckless driving attorney, and rather than seeking legal help that could improve their situation, they simply plead guilty. This leaves them with thousands of dollars in debt, without a license to get to work, and with extremely costly insurance premiums. By working with a qualified Fairfax traffic lawyer, you could potentially get your fines or charges reduced. This is especially true if you received a reckless driving first offense and otherwise have a clean driving record.

What to do if You’ve Been Charged with Reckless Driving

If you have been charged with reckless driving, the best course of action is to seek help from an attorney as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a lawyer may be able to help you reduce your fines, reduce your charge, or reduce the time you spend in jail or without a license.

The team at S&R Law Firm, PLLC has been helping Fairfax residents defend themselves against reckless driving charges for over a decade, and we may be able to help you too. We offer consultations at no charge, and our reckless driving attorneys in Fairfax can quickly and easily help you get a clearer understanding of your rights.

Contact us today for a free case review at 703-273-6431.

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