Leesburg Reckless Driving Attorney
Reckless driving (bad driving or driving too fast) is more than just a traffic offense in Virginia; it’s a crime. Driving 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia, and persons convicted of driving 80 mph or more, even on the highway, are frequently sentenced to jail time. As with any arrest or criminal offense, a reckless driving charge should be taken very seriously. Criminal defense and Leesburg reckless driving attorney Caleb Kershner and the legal team at Simms Showers LLP have handled reckless driving cases in Leesburg, Fairfax and throughout northern Virginia. A Loudoun reckless driving attorney can help you avoid jail time or a criminal conviction which could damage your employment opportunities or professional license and impact you negatively in countless other ways. Contact our Leesburg reckless driving attorneys for more information or assistance today.
What made the police decide to pull you over?
In defending your Leesburg reckless driving case, it is important to find out what method of observation the police used to determine you were speeding. No method is foolproof, and some are more subjective and less scientific than others. Two of the most popular methods include the use of radar and pacing.
- Radar – Although the use of radar to detect speed is based on sound science, the way in which it is used can greatly decrease its reliability. The police officer’s line of sight and ground speed, the road and weather conditions, and in particular the traffic around you when you are targeted can all lead to false readings or the wrong car being identified as speeding. We take all these factors into account, as well as the police officer’s training in the use of radar and the calibration of the unit itself, to mount a strong defense against the charges.
- Pacing – In order for a police officer to determine you were speeding based on pacing your car with the patrol car, the officer must have been able to maintain a constant speed and a constant distance between the two vehicles for a sufficient period of time to establish an accurate measurement. Was the road you were on straight, or were there curves and hills? Did the traffic stop occur shortly after leaving an intersection? How far back was the police car? What time of day did the stop occur, and what were the weather and road conditions at the time? All of these factors must be taken into account and plugged into a complicated formula that may be vulnerable to attack in court.
There are other methods of speed enforcement used in Virginia besides radar and pacing, including VASCAR, laser, and automated speed enforcement. Like radar and pacing, these methods have their own pitfalls, and an experienced Loudoun reckless driving defense attorney will know how to analyze the facts of your case and prepare any applicable defenses.
Leesburg & Loudoun County Reckless Driving FAQs
What is reckless driving?
In Loudoun County and throughout the State of Virginia, reckless driving is defined as knowingly or intentionally driving in a manner that is considered to endanger the life, limb or property of any person. A Virginia reckless driving ticket may be issued for any of the numerous behaviors specified as reckless in the state traffic code:
- Driving a vehicle that is not under full control (usually due to faulty brakes)
- Passing another vehicle without having a clear view of oncoming traffic and/or while on a curve or at the crest of a grade
- Driving a vehicle with an impaired view or without full access to controls (usually due to overloaded cargo)
- Passing two vehicles abreast on a road with two or fewer lanes
- Driving two abreast on a single lane road
- Passing at a railroad grade crossing
- Passing a school bus that is stopped
- Failing to use necessary signals
- Driving 20 miles per hour over the speed limit or more than 80 miles per hour
- Driving at a speed determined to be too fast for highway and traffic conditions
- Failing to properly yield right of way
- Reckless driving in a parking lot
- Racing on any highway, road or public property:
- Causing injury or death to another while racing
- Aiding or abetting racers
- Seizing a vehicle for the purpose of racing
- Failing to follow posted speed limits and other signs in a work zone
In addition to these specific behaviors, a law official can cite general reckless driving on a Virginia reckless driving ticket. This means that officers have the right to deem reckless any behaviors that they believe endanger the life, limb, or property of others.
What fines will I have to pay if I receive a reckless driving ticket in Virginia?
Reckless driving fines depend largely on the circumstances of a particular charge. As a Class 1 misdemeanor, a reckless driving conviction can be punished with a fine up to $2,500, depending on the severity of the offense. An experienced Leesburg lawyer at Simms Showers, who has handled hundreds of reckless driving offenses, can help you predict the fines you might face for reckless driving.
What other Virginia reckless driving penalties do I face besides fines?
Aside from fines, individuals charged with reckless driving face additional consequences. Those convicted of reckless driving in Virginia may be required to serve a maximum of one year in jail, and/or have their licenses suspended for a maximum of six months.
How do I defend myself against reckless driving charges?
Because it is a criminal offense, reckless driving must be proven beyond any reasonable doubt. Numerous possible defenses may help you avoid a conviction and reckless driving penalties. These involve scrutinizing the details of your charge, such as the observations of the officer who issued the ticket, the calibration records of the speed-measuring device the officer used, the calibration and accuracy of your own speedometer and any existing general evidence.
Do I need a lawyer?
Although the law allows you to represent yourself in a reckless driving case, obtaining an experienced attorney greatly increases your chances of a favorable outcome. Lawyers are familiar with the process of fighting reckless driving charges and know how to defend you effectively.
Get Help Today from Experienced and Successful Leesburg Reckless Driving Defense Attorneys
Don’t take a reckless driving charge lying down, especially when a conviction means a criminal record and possible jail time. Caleb Kershner is a former Loudoun County prosecuting attorney. He knows how the prosecutors think, and he has dealt with defense attorneys from the other side; he knows what works and what doesn’t when dealing with reckless driving prosecutions. Contact Caleb and the other experienced, capable Leesburg reckless driving defense attorneys at Simms Showers, LLP. Call 703-997-7821 for a free consultation regarding your case.