Chesterfield Reckless Driving by Speed Charges

Reckless driving by speed in Chesterfield, Virginia involves speeding 20 miles or more over the speed limit or speeding over 80 miles per hour. Under Virginia law, either of those speeding offenses can be classified as reckless driving and a class 1 misdemeanor.

When facing these charges, retaining a Chesterfield reckless driving lawyer is an important step. Your attorney can help you fight to ensure that your record stays clean and you’re your driving privileges are preserved.

Reckless Driving vs. Speeding

Reckless driving by speed is very different than a basic speeding ticket. A basic speeding ticket is viewed as simply an infraction. You do not have to appear in court and the worst penalty is typically just a high fine. With the reckless driving by speed, the punishment could result in a jail sentence. You could have your license suspended. Since it is a misdemeanor charge, your appearance is required in court.

The main way to tell the difference between a reckless driving by speed and a basic speeding ticket is that the officer will typically indicate that on the ticket. In other words, they’ll write “reckless driving” on it. In addition to that, they’ll also note in the bottom left-hand side of the summons that you have to appear in court.

Legal Excuses for Speeding

The only recognizable legal excuse or defense that can be raised to driving at that speed is that there’s a medical or life-threatening emergency and that medical emergency would have to involve you or someone in the vehicle. Every once in a while, the court will consider a case where someone receives a call regarding a child or a spouse. But for the most part, it’s primarily considered if someone is in the vehicle with you and having an emergency.

Penalties for Reckless Driving by Speed

Reckless driving by speed is, in fact, a criminal offense. Under Virginia Law, it is a class 1 misdemeanor. It carries the possibility of up to 12 months in jail, up to a $2,500-dollar fine, and up to a 6-month loss of license. For purposes of background checks or security clearance issues, it is considered a criminal offense.
Reckless driving by speed is not considered a less severe version. It actually carries the same penalties as any standard reckless driving charge, whether it involves an accident or just a failure to maintain control of your vehicle. All reckless driving in the State of Virginia is a class 1 misdemeanor with possible license suspension and possible jail time. Also, any reckless driving in Virginia carries 6 demerit points.

Impact of Reckless Driving by Speed on CDL

A reckless driving by speed ticket can most definitely impact a CDL license. If convicted of reckless driving by speed, it will often result in a suspension of your CDL. It will also result in a detrimental impact on your insurance and possibly your job as well. With CDL cases, what we try and do is negotiate with the prosecutors to get the matter either reduced or amended to another charge that doesn’t carry the impact of reckless driving. However, courts are much tougher on CDL drivers as a result of the higher standard applied since their profession is driving a vehicle.

Dealing With These Charges in Chesterfield Court

With a reckless driving charge involving a CDL driver, the judges are much more severe–especially if it’s a situation where the individual was actually driving a CDL vehicle at the time they received the ticket. In addition, Virginia law does not allow the courts to refer a CDL driver to driving school as a result of any agreement. So, despite having a perfect record, if the person has a CDL, a Court is not allowed to refer that driver to driving school in exchange for a reduction or dismissal.

Importance of a Reckless Driving Lawyer

With a reckless driving case, an attorney will review the officer’s testimony and evidence. The officer is required to provide documentation showing that the radar was calibrated within 6 months of the stop and that it was checked with what’s called a Doppler tone before and after the officer’s shift. In addition, if speed is determined by PACE, the officer is required to have documentation showing that their vehicle is also calibrated. One additional thing we can do is try to negotiate with the prosecutors to get the matter reduced or dismissed based on an agreement or plea agreement.  This could result in a driving school referral or just a simple reduction based on a high fine or community service.