Traffic Lawyer Fairfax, VA
RECKLESS DRIVING OVERVIEW IN VIRGINIA FROM A TRAFFIC LAWYER FAIRFAX VA
Have you been charged with a reckless driving offense in Virginia? A traffic lawyer Fairfax, VA can help you! Contact one of our experienced lawyers at May Law, L.L.P. at (703) 312-0410 for a free, no obligation consultation. Our traffic lawyer Fairfax, VA are highly experienced and knowledgeable.
DUI and Reckless Driving: An Introduction Lawyer
If you have been charged with reckless driving in Virginia because of a DUI or other seemingly illegal behavior, a Fairfax, VA traffic lawyer may be able to help.
Reckless driving generally entails driving intentionally with disregard for the safety of other drivers, or willfully operating a vehicle with a disregard for legal consequences.
Typically, a reckless driving ticket is given due to endangerment of other vehicles or persons on the road, property damage, or intentional breaking of the law while driving.
Reckless driving has more severe consequences than “careless driving.” To be convicted of reckless driving, the driver operating the vehicle must be doing something significantly out of the realm of mere carelessness, or negligence. DUI charges are typically considered to be the result of the negligence or recklessness of a driver who is operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Legal Basis and Consequences for Reckless Driving
Intentionally or willfully driving recklessly have different definitions for different states, as do most traffic laws. In some states, reckless driving is referred to as “dangerous driving”, or “careless driving”, but in most cases this refers to the willful operation of a vehicle with a disregard for legal consequences or the safety of others. This is why some states consider a DUI charge to be reckless driving. If you have been charged with reckless driving related to intoxicated operation of a motor vehicle, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Fairfax, VA traffic lawyer today. You need to act urgently in response to these serious charges in order to preserve your legal options.
There are certain acts (in various states) that are automatically considered reckless.
Common violations that may result in a reckless driving citation may include:
- Excessive speeding (usually 20 mph or more over the speed limit)
- Going to fast in certain conditions such as heavy rainfall or snowfall may also result in a reckless driving citation, even though the driver was going the speed limit
- Driving after drinking, but not intoxicated enough to be considered a DUI
- Driving with too many passengers
- Cutting off others on the road
- Failing to yield for vehicles
- Racing other vehicles
- Attempting to evade law enforcement
- Attempting to pass other vehicles with limited visibility
Reckless driving is one of the most serious traffic citations that one can be charged with which is why it is recommended that an accused person enlist the help of a Fairfax, VA traffic lawyer who knows how to defend the rights of people charged with serious traffic violations.
The consequences for reckless driving vary from state to state, but all follow a general guideline. For example, if harm was caused to other persons or pedestrians, the punishment will be more severe, and the reckless driver may be inclined to pay for the other person’s injuries. If bodily harm was caused to any persons, the reckless driver will most likely be facing incarceration as well. If one has incurred a reckless driving offense before and receives a subsequent offense, the repercussions will be much more severe.
Depending on the state, reckless driving consequences may include:
- Fines up to thousands of dollars
- License suspension
- Points on driving record
- Jail time up to one year
- Increase on insurance premium
- Denial of security clearance in military and government situations
If you or someone you love has been charged with reckless driving and/or a DUI in Virginia, it is important to enlist the help of a Fairfax, VA traffic lawyer who is experienced in successfully defending the rights of the accused. The cost of hiring a traffic law attorney will ultimately be far less than the cost of any fines or incarceration.
Consulting with a Lawyer
With the assistance of a Fairfax, Virginia traffic lawyer, it may be possible to lessen the charge, reduce fines, and avoid incarceration. When charged with reckless driving, obtaining the services of an attorney experienced in traffic law is strongly recommended because having an attorney on one’s side often garners more favorable outcomes in court than if a person tries to defend themselves on their own. It is imperative to exercise all rights in court, including representation by an attorney. The legal team at May Law, LLP will fight for your rights as you navigate your legal challenges. Please call today to schedule a case evaluation. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin building a strong defense on your behalf.
Reckless Driving Charges Generally
What is reckless driving? A traffic lawyer Fairfax, VA knows that under the State Code Section 46.2-852, reckless driving is defined as driving in a manner that 1) is deemed reckless, 2) endangers the life, limb, or property of another person, or 3) is at a high speed. In other words, most reckless driving charges in Virginia are defined as either reckless generally or reckless by speed. Reckless generally usually involves an accident, although not every accident is caused by reckless driving. Reckless by speed usually means driving at a speed greater than 80 miles per hour, regardless of the posted speed limit or driving at a speed exceeding the posted speed limit by 20 miles per hour. It could also mean driving too fast for the conditions (wet road, gloomy weather, etc.), regardless of the posted speed limit; passing an emergency vehicle with its lights on; or passing a school bus that is picking up or dropping off children. Call traffic lawyer Fairfax, VA right away if charged with reckless driving. Remember, May Law L.L.P. can help you fight a conviction!
Virginia takes reckless driving offenses very seriously. Both reckless generally and reckless by speed are Class 1 Misdemeanors, which means they are criminal, not traffic, in nature. Some of the penalties include 1) up to 12 months in jail, 2) maximum of $2,500 in fines, 3) having driving privileges suspended for up to 6 months, and 4) having 6 demerit points assessed to your driving record. Contact an experienced traffic lawyer Fairfax, VA at May Law L.L.P. to learn about your potential defenses. Being convicted of a reckless driving in Virginia is a very serious matter.
In some instances, reckless driving becomes a Class 6 Felony, as opposed to a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Under the State Code Section 46.2-868, a person who was found guilty of reckless driving that directly caused death of another person or a person who was found guilty and was driving on a revoked or suspended driver’s license, could be convicted of a Class 6 Felony. If charged with a felony for traffic offenses, it is imperative that you contact a traffic lawyer Fairfax, VA immediately. Felonies are much more serious offenses than misdemeanors and carry much harsher penalties, including prison time, one to three years license suspension, probation, extremely high fines and court costs. It is imperative that you call a traffic lawyer Fairfax, VA right away when faced with a possibility of becoming a felon.
To summarize, a conviction of reckless driving in Virginia may have long-term consequences. Because the conviction remains on the Virginia driving record for 11 years, car insurance rates usually go up significantly and remain high for the duration of the driving record. A reckless driving conviction also creates a criminal record, which could, for example, affect a person’s job, government security clearance, or military eligibility.
Virginia Traffic Laws And Bicycle Riders
A trusted traffic lawyer from May Law, LLP in Fairfax, VA understand that the rules of the road can be unclear for cyclists. Any automobile driver who has passed the basic requirements for getting their driver’s license knows that other vehicles on the road must obey traffic laws. Therefore, vehicles from motorcycles to trucks use their blinkers to change lanes and coming to a full and complete stop and a red light. However, what laws do bicyclists must abide by? Do they have their own rules created entirely separate from other traffic laws, or could a cyclist receive a ticket for running a red light or failing to use a turn signal? Like any other vehicle on the road, bike riders must follow the rules of the road and are often under obligation to follow additional rules that apply specifically to bicyclists. For more information on bicyclists and traffic laws, it’s best to talk to a traffic lawyer serving Fairfax, VA. If you are not ready to take the next step yet, read on.
Who Enforces Bicycle Laws?
Like other traffic laws, bicycle laws are typically enforced by the state and even at local levels. Although a bicyclist should follow the same laws that other motorists do, many jurisdictions have also created laws specific to bicycle riders. Some of the common ordinances that have been created by local jurisdictions are:
- Bicycle helmet provisions
- Rules that do not permit a bicyclist from driving on the sidewalk, and
- Ensuring cyclists do not bike while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
What are Common Traffic Rules Bicyclists Must Abide By?
There are many common laws and regulations a cyclist must follow while riding his or her bike in public. A Fairfax, VA traffic lawyer explain:
Helmet Laws. Many states require a cyclist to wear a properly-fitted helmet when riding their bike, especially if the cyclist is under the age of 18. Although there are not laws in place that require all cyclists to wear helmets, many local ordinances require it despite a person’s age.
Signaling. Some bikes come equipped with electronic turn signals that show when a bicyclist is switching lanes or making a turn at an intersection. However, the most common way that a bike rider will signal a change in positions is using proper hand signals. The common signals are:
- Stopping. Use your right hand and bend it downward by 90 degrees at your elbow.
- Right Turn or a Lane Change. Extend your right hand straight out.
- Left Turn. Bend your right hand upward at the elbow by 90 degrees.
Like any other vehicle on the road, if you fail to signal when changing lanes or turning, a police officer can issue you a traffic citation. However, a good traffic lawyer may be able to help you challenge a citation in Fairfax, VA.
Riding on the Sidewalk. While younger children are typically allowed to ride on the sidewalk for safety measures (usually up to the age of 13), many state and local ordinances prohibit a cyclist from riding on a sidewalk.
Reflectors or Lights. In almost every state, a bicyclist must have some type of reflector or lights on their bike. This usually comes in the form of a red light on the back of the back and a white light on the front. Reflectors are also typically required and these can be great safety features at night.
What If I Get a Traffic Citation?
If you have received a traffic citation or someone injured you while you were on your bike, getting the help of an attorney can be imperative when making a claim or going to court. For more information traffic laws for bicyclists or to speak with a traffic lawyer for Fairfax, VA, call the office of May Law, LLP today.
Don’t be a victim. Know your rights. Let traffic lawyer Fairfax, VA help you with your reckless driving charge! May Law, LLP traffic lawyer Fairfax, VA have been fighting and protecting rights of the accused since 1995. Don’t wait. Call today and ask how May Law L.L.P. can help you.
What Driving Behaviors Are Considered Reckless?
Reckless driving is a criminal charge that generally involves the perception that a driver has behaved in ways that are considered willfully ignorant of the rules of the road; specifically, ways that could cause serious harm to others. Unlike traffic offenses that are treated as minor legal infractions, reckless driving can result in a suspended license, fines, spikes in your insurance, and even jail time. It is for this reason that it is important for individuals who have been charged with reckless driving to speak with an experienced Fairfax, VA traffic lawyer as soon as they have been cited for reckless driving. Responding to these serious charges quickly can help to ensure that your legal options remain preserved.
What Are Some Common Behaviors That May Be Considered Reckless Driving?
One of the most common examples of reckless driving occurs when a person is speeding. It can be tempting to push that gas pedal when you’re running late for something. It’s also very common to not even realize that you’re going a few miles per hour over the limit. Neither of these behaviors are considered reckless, necessarily. Because reckless driving is the willful (and dangerous) ignorance of traffic laws, it involves more than just being negligent. For example, if a driver is operating their vehicle at speeds 20 miles per hour over the posted limit, they may be cited for driving recklessly. Working with an experienced Fairfax, VA traffic lawyer may enable you to have a reckless speeding citation reduced to a negligent speeding citation, depending on the circumstances of your case.
-Avoiding Traffic Signals
It can be easy to run through a yellow light, but when you fail to adhere to traffic signs and signals, you’re causing trouble for others on the road. Examples include failing to yield, running red lights, and running stop signs. When you are driving, it is your duty to follow the rules of the road so that you do not injure yourself or others. Ignoring these signs is often not just considered negligent, but reckless.
If visibility is limited or a zone is in place to prevent passing of other vehicles, it is generally considered reckless to them attempt to pass the car in front of you–no matter how slowly they may be going. If you are passing in a no-passing zone, you could be facing a reckless driving charge.
The Three Main Steps in Being Arrested for Reckless Driving
When you’re pulled over for reckless driving in Virginia, a number of things can happen. This guide will list the probable steps you will go through in the criminal justice process.
1. You Will Be Booked and Arrested
Be cooperative in all your dealings with the police, including cooperating with the booking process, where you answer identifying questions, including any medications you might take. These questions are all okay to answer, as they don’t incriminate you. After booking, however, May Law, a traffic lawyer in Fairfax, VA, usually recommends not answering further questions without an attorney present.
2. You Will Have a Bond Hearing
The magistrate will determine whether you’ll be released or have to stay in jail until your trial. If you are released, it will be either on your own recognizance, promising you’ll return for trial, or with unsecured or secured bail. Unsecured bail means you’d pay a fine if you don’t show up to court, where secured bail must be paid before you can be released.
If you can’t afford to pay the secured bail, you could enlist the services of a bail bonding agent. This person would pay your bail, charging you a fee of 10%, and assure the court you’ll appear for your trial. If you can’t pay your bail, you’ll remain in custody until your trial.
The magistrate will consider two main factors in this decision — whether you’ll cause danger to others and whether you’ll try to flee the state to avoid going to trial. Depending on how busy they are, it could take hours for you to see the magistrate. You may be held in jail overnight. When you see the magistrate, you will be asked if you have an attorney or if you want one appointed to you. If you choose to hire your own traffic lawyer in Fairfax, VA, you will be given a limited amount of time to do so.
3. You Will Be Arraigned
This is the part of the process where you appear in court to plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest — meaning you don’t dispute the facts but don’t admit guilt. A traffic lawyer in Fairfax, VA, such as May Law can help you understand the ramifications of each decision.
What happens next depends on your case and plea. Most misdemeanors are heard by a judge, while felonies go to a preliminary hearing to see if you will be indicted. If an indictment happens, you’ll go to a trial by jury.
Trust a Reckless Driving Fairfax, Virginia Traffic Lawyer
If you were pulled over for any of these offenses and issued a reckless driving citation, it is important that you contact a Fairfax, VA traffic lawyer to help with your case. Reckless driving is not simply a minor infraction like a speeding ticket is, it can result in the suspension or loss of your license, expensive fines, insurance hikes and in some cases, even jail time. If you recently received a citation for reckless driving, contact May Law, LLP today. We have years of experience with reckless driving cases and would be happy to provide you with guidance and support.
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