Many people think a reckless driving ticket in Virginia is as simple as a common speeding ticket, but that’s often far from correct. A reckless driving ticket can be far more serious, and requires an appearance in court, whereas speeding tickets can be paid in the mail (or online – correct?) If you’re unsure as to whether or not you’ll need to hire a lawyer for your reckless driving case, here are a few points to consider:
1) Were you ticketed for driving over 85 miles per hour?
While each case is different, and often depends on factors such as previous driving record and situation leading to the ticket, it’s very possible that your license could be suspended
2) Were you ticketed for driving above 90 miles per hour?
If this is the case, it’s highly possible that you could be facing jail time.
3) Do you expect your insurance premium to increase by at least $1,000?
Depending on your insurance company and policy, a reckless driving conviction could cause your insurance premium to rise. Be sure to consult your insurance company in advance so you know how reckless driving convictions affect your premium; the more serious the consequences, the greater the need for a lawyer.
4) Do you have a poor driving record?
In Virginia, drivers with bad records (those who have a large amount of tickets, a restricted license, etc.) tend to face more severe punishment than those with good ones. If this sounds like you, a lawyer may be able to recommend steps to take before the trial that could help your chances in court.
5) Do you have security clearance?
Reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor; while a conviction won’t necessarily lead to losing your security clearance, it’s certainly possible.
6) Do you drive for a living?
For certain occupations (salesmen, truck drivers, etc.), maintaining a clean driving record may be a requirement of the job; avoiding a vehicular convictions could be the difference between keeping and losing your job.
7) Do you live out of state? Are you available to come to court?
You can’t pay a reckless driving ticket via mail, online or over the phone; Virginia law requires those who receive reckless driving tickets to appear in court. If you live out of state, will you be able to return for your court case? For many people who live out of state, this presents a problem. Attorneys can often appear in court on their client’s behalf, resolving cases in their absence.
This list is by no means complete; there are countless reasons you might want to hire a lawyer to handle your reckless driving case. If you have any questions or concerns about your ticket, we offer a free consultation where we can provide an estimate and discuss the likely outcomes of your trial. Many people choose to hire us following the consultation, but some decide they don’t need a lawyer; you are under no obligation to hire us. If any of the above points apply to you, or you just want to be better prepared for your appearance in court, call us to discuss your case.