Reckless Driving In Fairfax Virginia Lawyers

Reckless driving in Fairfax Virginia is Class I misdemeanor. This means that offenders are subject to a variety Virginia reckless driving penalties, even potentially jail time. Virginia reckless driving charges are very serious and best handled by an experienced Northern Virginia Reckless Driving Attorney. Reckless driving can mean points on your license and an increase in insurance costs. Be sure to review our Virginia reckless driving FAQs to learn more about what you can do and expect.

Every Fairfax VA Reckless Driving case is different and no one strategy will work with every case. Every jurisdiction (Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William, etc.) has a slightly different way of doing things. Similarly, even judges and District Attorneys within the same jurisdiction will have varying views. Fairfax Virginia Reckless Driving cases are some of the most commonly litigated cases in Virginia, this frequency gives the Fairfax Va Reckless Driving Lawyer greater ability to predict how judges will react to the facts of your case.

Most Fairfax Virginia reckless driving tickets are based on speed. If you drive more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit or over 80 miles per hour, you have committed the offense of reckless driving. Virginia Code 46.2-852 states “Irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving.”

As with all tickets, it may or may not make sense to hire a Fairfax VA Reckless Driving Attorney. If you are even considering hiring a lawyer, speak to one soon after you get your ticket. The earlier we get started, the more prepared we will be on your court date. Additionally, you should get a copy of your driving record from the DMV. We will also give you a ballpark idea of what sorts of resolutions you can reasonably expect. Additionally, we will provide you with an upfront, flat fee. This fee structure and resolution estimate makes your decision of whether you should hire a lawyer as easy and straightforward as possible. Please call us(703) 934-0101 for a free evaluation of your reckless driving case.

Reckless Driving In Virginia

There are many variables that come into play in determining if a lawyer is needed for a Reckless Driving ticket in Virginia. It’s often a cost benefit analysis looking at the cost of hiring a lawyer versus the possible consequences of a Reckless Driving in Virginia conviction. At lower speeds there are times where the consequences aren’t sufficient to justify hiring a lawyer. Instead of paying a lawyer’s fees, it may be easier to just go to court by yourself. If you walk away with a small fine, your insurance may increase. But if the increase is less than the lawyer’s fee you’ve saved money doing it yourself, despite the worse result in court.

That much said, ALWAYS TALK TO A LAWYER FIRST. Many, including my office offer honest, free assessments of your case. There may be unintended collateral consequences and it’s important to learn of these before court. This is particularly the case for DC drivers. As written previously in the Washington Post, on September 21st, Mike Debonis wrote an article about the plight of DC drivers convicted of Reckless Driving in Fairfax and other Virginia locations.

The problem deals with the way the District DMV interpreted the term Reckless Driving. Under VA law, Reckless Driving in Virginia is driving at any speed 20 miles over the limit or any speed over 80 regardless of the speed limit. So 81mph in a 65mph zone is Reckless Driving. 77 in a 55 is also Reckless. This is obviously a very low standard and police in VA issue these tickets frequently.

However, under the laws of the District of Columbia Reckless Driving has a much stronger definition and severe penalties. The DC DMV interprets a Reckless Driving in Virginia conviction the same as a DC conviction. A DC conviction carries with it 12 demerit points and a 6 month loss of license. According to the article, the problem became increased as Virginia started reporting to the DC DMV more regularly. The director for the DC DMV reported that in fiscal year 2011, their office received zero notifications of Reckless Driving convictions in Virginia for DC drivers. However, since October 2011, her office had learned of 362 cases. She also stated that in each and every case the conviction resulted in a 6 month loss of license.

The article cites a number of individuals who suffered under DC’s extreme view of these cases. One had to hire a driver during his suspension. Another began riding a bike 11 miles to work. A third was actually arrested for driving on suspended after she was stopped by police during her suspension.

At the hearing, the DC DMV director admitted she had received over 70 letters from people who had suffered.

The article concludes by pointing out that recent changes should help DC drivers. The attorney general and a new bill are working to protect DC driver’s from this type of extreme punishment. Two drivers specifically were stated as having their suspensions dropped.

However, the fact remains that anytime you go into court, whether for traffic or criminal there will be a judge in the courtroom. And that judge will have the power to make a decision that can impact your life in ways you may not think possible. A good Reckless Driving attorney will be able to tell you what potential outcomes may occur. A lot of the time hiring a lawyer may be unnecessary. But until you talk to one you can’t know for sure. Certainly the 362 DC drivers who lost their licenses wish that had consulted an attorney before unnecessarily having to walk for 6 months.

Prince William County Traffic Enforcement

The Prince William Police Department annually targets drivers at the beginning of the school year. They refer to it as their “Back to School” traffic enforcement campaign. The tradition continued in 2012.

Between September 4 and September 14, Prince William police focused on traffic violations near schools and school buses. During that 10 day period over 1100 traffic tickets were issued as part of the program. Speeding and Reckless driving tickets accounted for nearly 50% of the tickets issued. While police were mainly focused on student safety, police frequently also ticketed drivers for other traffic violations.

Faraji Rosenthall is a Prince William County criminal lawyer and has extensive knowledge of Virginia’s Reckless Driving laws. As a former Virginia Prosecutor, he handled dozens of cases almost every day. As a defense attorney, he has used this experience and knowledge to assist hundreds of clients.

Virginia State Police Target Reckless Drivers

On September 22, 2012 Virginia State Police enacted Operation Air, Land, and Speed. The traffic safety program targeted motorists traveling in Virginia on Interstate’s 81, 95, 64, 66, and 85. During an intense 10 hour focused deployment troopers with the Virginia State Police applied strict enforcement of traffic safety laws on those 5 roadways. It was the first such effort of its kind.

During those 10 hours troopers issued 1,460 speeding tickets and 455 Reckless Driving citations. An additional 3 arrests were made for DUI and 11 other people were arrested on unrelated felony and/or day charges.

Reckless Driving Conviction Can Impact DC Drivers Lincense

According to the Washington Post Local section, a gentleman by the name of Tom Selden encountered a situation where he was caught doing 84 on a 70-mph zone on Interstate 295 southeast of Richmond. He admits he was speeding; he never experienced any problems on the road before. He has a clean record with no tickets, no accidents, and no points. He didn’t think anything would be as serious until he learned that his driver’s license would be revoked. Selden was charged with Reckless Driving and the Department of Motor Vehicles informed him that he would be without a license to drive for at least six months.

The problem lies with the fact that Mr. Selden had a D.C. driver’s license. Under Virginia law, Reckless Driving is anything 20 or more miles over the speed limit or anything over 80 miles per hour. Mr. Selden was ticketed for going 84 in a 70 mile per hour zone. He understandably thought it wasn’t a big deal and he simply paid the $230 fine.

The problem was the way his home residence, D.C., interpreted it. In the District Reckless Driving has a much harsher definition, and harsher penalties. In Virginia Reckless Driving is a six point violation. However, when D.C. learned of the conviction it interpreted it under the applicable D.C. law. That meant Mr. Selden would get 12 points on his license. D.C. has a 12 point scale and the conviction meant an automatic license suspension for Mr. Selden.

The Post found a number of similarly situated individuals. All suffered the same rate as Mr. Selden. Some have appealed to the D.C. DMV. All appeals have been denied.

While legislators are working to change this problem, it does serve to illustrate an underlying truth. It is always best to at least talk to a lawyer before going to court. A five minute conversation could have saved Mr. Selden a lot of headache and a 6 month license loss.

At the Law Office of Faraji Rosenthall we offer free consultations. Anyone who has a pending Virginia Reckless Driving charge should take advantage of this free service. Sometimes a ticket is so small it doesn’t make sense to hire us. Other times a case may be much more serious than a person originally thought. Many times it’s somewhere in the middle. Regardless, by taking a few minutes to discuss your case you will get an honest assessment of your case and learn all the options available to you.