Fairfax County Reckless Driving Charge?

Fairfax County Reckless Driving Misconceptions

Fairfax county reckless driving

Imagine for just a few seconds that you have been arrested for DUI…would you panic? Immediately become upset, anxious, and worried about the wrath of the legal system and consequences? Most people would have some level of angst, probably much of it, and understandably so.

Now, imagine you have just been arrested for reckless driving…might you be a little less concerned with the charge and its possible consequences?  Consider this list of lesser-known facts about reckless driving in Fairfax County and you might not be so quick to brush off a reckless driving charge.  This is not meant to “scare” but to prepare.  This is not legal advice, but you should seriously consider hiring a Fairfax County reckless driving lawyer (and if charged with DUI, a Fairfax DUI lawyer)…

As a class 1 misdemeanor charge, reckless driving is in the same general “class” as a DUI or DWI charge: reckless driving in Virginia is a Class 1 Misdemeanor.

Here are 5 misconceptions about Fairfax County reckless driving charges:

5. Unless the prosecutor seeks jail time, you will not have the right to a public defender or court appointed private attorney.  This is true even if you are without means.

Unfortunately, the consequences could be severe, even if no jail time is sought to be imposed upon a defendant: up to a $2,500 fine, a year in prison and loss of driving privileges for up to six months are real risks to a conviction.  However, the right to a court appointed lawyer only concerns itself with respect to loss of liberty interests (imprisonment).

4. These five “common-sense arguments” usually will not work to defend a reckless driving charge.

For example, the following five “excuses” seem logical, but as defenses, generally they will flop:

  • Going with the flow of traffic
  • Need to use the restroom
  • Late for a job interview or school
  • Sudden change in speed limit
  • Incorrect name, birth-date, or other identifying factor on summons

3. If you are a Virginia citizen convicted of reckless driving, then the traffic court judge has no choice but to issue six (6) demerit points (to your DMV record). But if you are an out of state driver, your state will decide how many points result from the reckless driving conviction.

2. Reckless driving convictions remain on an adult’s criminal record forever.  It will remain on a DMV record for 11 years.  A reckless driving conviction cannot be expunged. If you have been charged and were found not guilty, you may want to ask a local Fairfax County reckless driving lawyer whether or not your case is eligible for expungement.

1. In Fairfax County, you must have an attorney to speak with a prosecutor.

This means that if you do not have an attorney for a reckless driving charge in Fairfax County, then you will not be able to potentially reach a “deal” or plea bargain arrangement. Police officers do not “make deals.” Typically, a prosecutor is only assigned to a Fairfax County reckless driving charge when the accused individual has counsel.  In other words, without a lawyer it will most likely be a defendant’s word against the police officer’s.

If charged with reckless driving in Fairfax County:

Speaking with an attorney about your case is a good idea before you conjure up in your own mind what you believe your defense might be.  Many Fairfax reckless driving attorneys and reckless driving lawyers in other parts of Virginia, too, offer free consultations.  Take advantage of this.

Image Credit:

“Businessman In His Car” courtesy of stockimages | freedigitalphotos.net

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Brenton D. Vincenzes is a lifelong Fairfax County resident and Fairfax Criminal Defense Lawyer. He is a member of the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National College of DUI Defense, NORML, and has been awarded the following in 2014-15: Top 100 Trial Lawyer (National Trial Lawyers) Top 40 Under 40 Trial Lawyer (National Trial Lawyers) Nationally Ranked Top 10 Under 40 Defense Attorney (National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys) 10 Best in Client Satisfaction for Criminal Defense (American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys) Nationally Ranked Top 1% Attorney Award Recipient (National Association of Distinguished Counsel) As a local leader, Mr. Vincenzes mentors troubled youths, volunteers his time to serve at his church, takes select pro bono clients, and strives to improve the community. Mr. Vincenzes represents men, women, and juveniles through zealous and diligent advocacy, strategic planning, and skilled trial work preparation. Mr. Vincenzes' areas of criminal law practice are broad, and include most felonies and misdemeanors such as: reckless driving, DUI & DWI, drug offenses, assault and battery, domestic violence, assault on an officer, destruction of property, alcohol offenses, firearm offenses, larceny, shoplifting, embezzlement, fraud, and other theft offenses, and moving traffic violations among others. His private legal services are available in most Northern Virginia jurisdictions, including Fairfax County, Arlington County, Prince William County, Loudoun County, Stafford County, Alexandria, Manassas, Leesburg, South Riding, and other cities and towns.

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