10 Reasons to Retain an Experienced Traffic Attorney if Charged with General Reckless Driving in VA
General reckless driving involves a person who drives a vehicle that could endanger the life, limb or property of any person, regardless of the posted speed limit. Here are 10 reasons to retain an experienced traffic attorney if charged in Virginia
Reason #1While there are no guarantees that an experienced traffic lawyer will win your case, at the very least, they should be able to negotiate some of the non-mandatory penalties upon a conviction. If found guilty of general reckless driving, penalties for a first time offender can include: a minimum ten(10) day to a maximum six (6) month license suspension (a restricted license can be issued by the court during the suspension period but does not apply to a commercial driver's license); fines and court costs; six (6) demerit points assessed by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles against your driving record; dramatic insurance rate increases; a criminal record for a class I misdemeanor
Reason #2If alcohol or drug use may have contributed to the general reckless driving charge, the court can impose additional penalties with significant costs, including the requirement to complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program, plus the cost to attend the Program.
Reason #3Hiring an experienced traffic attorney will give you access to a wealth of legal knowledge that can be useful in beating your charges. For example, did you know that the Commonwealth must prove that you drove in a reckless manner and the fact that an accident occurred is not evidence that the operation was reckless?
Reason #4An experienced traffic attorney has the expertise to build legally sound arguments that may get your general reckless driving charges reduced. If the court is convinced that you had only a slight degree of culpability, the reckless driving charge may be reduced to one of improper driving which is only a three (3) point traffic infraction, instead of a criminal misdemeanor.
Reason #5An experienced traffic lawyer provides you with significantly better odds of a positive outcome than if you were to represent yourself. Simply pleading guilty to quickly resolve your case stops your ability to get your record expunged. You must be found not guilty or have the charges withdrawn by Commonwealth (nolle prosequi) to be able to submit a petition for an expungement.
Reason #6A general reckless driving conviction is on your record for life. In exceptional circumstances, a governor's absolute pardon can be granted for an erroneous conviction, but it would be next to impossible for this type of conviction and would serve as Virginia's first of this kind.
Reason #7A general reckless driving conviction may have negative impacts on your life. Outside of the judicial penalties handed down by the court, a general reckless driving conviction can result in: limited job opportunities or even loss of employment and increased car insurance.
Reason #8Even if you have confidence of your own innocence, it takes an experienced and respected attorney to successfully negotiate with Commonwealth attorneys. Your best line of defense is to contact a local lawyer who is familiar with the judges and prosecutors of that area, as different judges can have varying approaches, especially in areas of the law that allow discretion.
Reason #9While the thought of legal bills may stress you out and seem excessively high, there is no substitute for knowing the law. What are you paying for? To start, a minimum of three years of formal legal education (JD or equivalent), possible internships, successfully pass the state bar, hold varying years of practice and expertise. If the low end of a JD costs $150,000 and years of experience and expertise are priceless, solely on economics, aren't you getting your money's worth to protect your future?
Reason #10Using www.avvo.com makes it simple to find a local traffic lawyer. Simply click the "Find a Lawyer" option at the top right of the page. Enter "DUI" within the search field and enter the "city and state" you were charged in. Most lawyers will offer a free consultation. Once you have generated a search for local DUI lawyers, use the left hand tool bar labelled "LAWYERS WITH" to click the box "free consultation" to narrow down your search of local lawyers.
Additional resources provided by the author
- Legal penalties for reckless driving in Virginia
- Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program
- How your driving record points affect car insurance rates
- VA DMV point system
- Driver improvement clinics in Virginia
- Commercial driver's licenses in Virginia
- The expungement of police and court records in Virginia
- Obtaining a governor’s pardon in Virginia