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Reckless Driving

Virginia Beach Reckless Driving Attorney 

Penalties for Reckless Driving in Virginia Beach, Newport News, Hampton, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth & Norfolk

Were you surprised, perhaps even shocked, to be pulled over and charged with a criminal offense? Driving fast can be the rush of a lifetime, especially for those who love cars, but the possibility of endangering the lives of others on the road is going to make an officer of the law quite furious. Not only can speeding lead to these charges, but also if you are caught trying to pass an ambulance or fire truck as they are en route, that is cause for reckless driving charges. In many cases of reckless driving, there is often the use of alcohol as well, likely accounting for the drivers fast speeds, though this is not always the case.

If you have received one or more traffic tickets since you began driving, the next one could be anything but a routine traffic stop. The Commonwealth of Virginia takes reckless driving seriously, and you will face much harsher penalties than for a normal traffic offense. That is why it is important to hire a traffic lawyer in Virginia Beach to fight the charges against you.

To start your defense, contact our Virginia Beach reckless driving lawyer today. 

What Constitutes Reckless Driving?

Unlike civil traffic offenses, reckless driving is a misdemeanor criminal offense in Virginia that is often charged when drivers go 20 mph over the posted speed limit. Under state law, reckless driving encompasses a variety of behaviors that demonstrate a willful disregard for the safety of others.

Common Reckless Driving Offenses in Virginia Beach

JRLaw has experience handling all types of reckless driving cases, but these are the most common charges we see:

  • Street racing
  • Racing an ambulance, fire truck, or school bus
  • Driving over 80 mph
  • Passing a school bus
  • Driving 20+ mph over the posted speed limit
  • “Road rage” (e.g., driving in a way that endangers the lives of others)
  • Failing to give proper turn signals
  • Driving too fast in rain or snow or on gravel

What are the Penalties for Reckless Driving?

Defendants convicted of reckless driving in Virginia can face harsh legal penalties in criminal court. A reckless driving charges is a Class I misdemeanor and is punishable by:

  • Up to $2,500 in fines
  • Up to 12 months in jail
  • Up to 6 months of driver’s license suspension

Your license can be suspended for up to 6 months as well. These penalties, depending on the event, may all be included in the reckless driving charges, or perhaps just one.

Either way, if you are being accused of reckless driving in Virginia Beach and convicted, there is a likelihood that it will remain on your records for over 15 years, with possible jail time, fines, and loss of license. It is vital to contact a Virginia Beach reckless driving attorney who specializes in criminal defense charges relating to reckless driving so that you can receive the proper legal counsel that you deserve.

Driving Too Fast for Traffic Conditions

The Virginia traffic laws identify a number of circumstances that fall under reckless driving. One that is often overlooked by drivers is driving too fast for conditions.

Section 46.2-861 is driving too fast for highway and traffic conditions. The code states, “A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who exceeds a reasonable speed under the circumstances and traffic conditions existing at the time, regardless of any posted speed limit.”

​There are a few important points to note in this code. First, you can be charged with reckless driving even if you aren’t speeding. If the roads are icy, flooded or there are other hazards, an officer may determine you are driving too fast for the circumstances, even if you are below the posted speed limit. It’s important to note this isn’t only weather-related. If you are charged with reckless driving section ​46.2-861, the officer could feel you are driving too fast for the traffic conditions.

This charge can even appear after a traffic accident, if the police feel you were driving too fast for the circumstances at the time.

Defense Strategies for Reckless Driving Charges

Some common strategies to defend against reckless driving charges in Virginia Beach include:

  • Lack of Willful Behavior – Reckless driving requires demonstrating a willful disregard for the safety of others. One possible defense is to argue that the alleged behavior did not meet the criteria for reckless driving because it was not intentional or deliberate. Providing evidence such as witness statements, surveillance footage, or expert testimony can help support this defense.
  • Challenging the Accuracy of Evidence – It is essential to thoroughly examine the evidence against you. Challenging the accuracy or reliability of evidence such as radar or speed gun readings, eyewitness testimonies, or the credibility of the arresting officer can be an effective defense strategy. By casting doubt on the validity of the evidence, it may weaken the prosecution’s case against you.
  • Emergency Situations or Necessity – In certain situations, such as emergencies or instances where there was a necessity to act quickly to avoid harm, it may be possible to argue that the actions taken were justified under the circumstances. Presenting evidence or testimony that demonstrates the need to take immediate action to prevent a more significant danger can strengthen this defense.
  • Improper Calibration or Maintenance of Equipment – Reckless driving charges often rely on technology such as radar guns or speed cameras to determine speed. Challenging the accuracy of these devices by questioning their calibration, maintenance records, or operator error can be an effective defense strategy. If it can be established that the equipment was faulty or improperly used, it may undermine the evidence against you.
  • Mistaken Identity or Lack of Sufficient Evidence – Another defense strategy is to argue that you were mistakenly identified as the driver involved in the reckless behavior. This defense may be applicable if there is insufficient evidence or if there are doubts regarding the identification process.

Contact our Traffic Lawyer in Virginia Beach for Knowledgeable Representation

Jerrell Johnson’s 15 years as a police officer and over 15 years of experience make him uniquely qualified to defend you against a reckless driving charge. As your Virginia Beach reckless driving attorney, Jerrell and his team at JRLaw, PLC will thoroughly investigate the evidence against you, diligently working to have your case dropped or to prove your innocence.

Don’t wait – contact a Virginia Beach reckless driving lawyer at JRLaw, PLC now to talk about your case.

Call our traffic lawyer in Virginia Beach at (757) 447-0080. We serve Virginia Beach, Newport News, Hampton, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, and Norfolk.

We Care About Our Clients

Read What Past Clients Had to Say About Us
  • His representation kept an unfortunate incident from defining her future. He was able to put us at ease from the first contact, and he gave her the support she (and our family) needed to get through a very difficult time.
    - Client
  • Mr. Johnson really came through for me in a time of crisis!! Not only was he meticulous with the details of my case, he was quick to offer his full support in helping me to gather exactly what I needed to win my case.
    - Client
  • From first contact, he was attentive, communicative, and beyond fair with his fees. Being a former police officer in Virginia Beach made him aware, prior to court, of what needed to be done for our time in court. That prior experience was also completely
    - Misty
  • We needed a simple expungement for a non-prosecuted charge and Mr. Johnson did it quickly (as much as possible) and at a reasonable price.
    - William

    Proven Track Record

    Dedicated to Obtaining the Best Possible Outcome
    • Caroline County: Reckless Driving Speed 20mph over
    • Chesapeake Circuit Court: Domestic Assault & Failure To Appear
    • Chesapeake Juvenile: Detention Hearing (Bond Hearing)
    • Chesapeake Juvenile: Felony Robbery
    • Chesapeake: Evading Traffic Device