Out of State Drivers Charged With Reckless Driving in Richmond

In Richmond, Virginia, reckless driving is a serious offense that can go on your criminal record and result in fines and jail time. It’s important to understand the severity of the charge and your obligations to appear in court, especially if you live in another state.

Below, a Richmond reckless driving lawyer answers some questions about how reckless driving charges can impact out of state drivers, and what out of state drivers facing these charges should do.

How Can a Virginia Reckless Driving Charge Impact An Out of State Driver?

Dramatically, depending on how their state treats serious traffic violations. If convicted in Virginia, it will be reported to their home state DMV.  This could result in significant points and possible license suspension in their home state.

Will Out of State Drivers Need to Show Up in Court in Richmond?

In almost all cases you must appear in Richmond. In some circumstances however, if the driver is out of state and the facts are not aggravating an attorney may be able to handle the case without you being present.

It can also depend on what courtroom your case is in.  Each Judge has specific requirements on these cases and some Judges require attendance.

Why Shouldn’t You Just Pay the Reckless Driving Fine So They Can Get on With it?

Well, most if not all cases, you simply must appear.  When you receive a summons for reckless driving in Virginia, you’re required to sign that you agree to appear in court. If you do not appear in court the judge can issue a warrant for your arrest for failure to appear, and/or convict in your absence imposing a wide variety of penalties. It is simply not worth the risk.

What Are Some of The First Things That You Ask When Meeting With a Potential Reckless Driving Client For The First Time?

Well, primarily what I want to know first is exactly what happened; where were they going. If it’s a speeding case,  what time of day was it, how was the traffic, where were they going , are there mitigating factors – mitigating factors would include – was the a medical emergency, is there an issue with the vehicle’s speedometer, calibration.

In addition to that, one of the things I’m looking for is how was the interaction with the officer or the trooper. That can actually play a big role in the outcome of one of these cases because typically the first thing a prosecutor or a judge is going to want to know is how was their behavior; were they rude, were they obnoxious, etc.

What Are Some of the Most Common Mistakes That You See Individuals Make in Reckless Driving Cases?

Most common mistake is folks who show up in court simply plead guilty. It comes from a lack of knowledge of the actual charge itself and the implication it carries.  Or they appear in Court and just deny knowledge of their speed without realizing the officer or prosecutor does not need to show intent on reckless speeding cases.