Sussex County Reckless Driving Defense Lawyer
Reckless driving is a serious charge in Sussex County, Virginia. Some people who have never received a citation for reckless driving might be unaware that the consequences are more severe than a typical traffic ticket.
If you are convicted of reckless driving in Sussex County, it can significantly impact your life. In addition to the court-ordered penalties for reckless driving, you could be left with a criminal record that may make it challenging to obtain housing, get a job, or pursue higher education opportunities.
Given the severe consequences of a reckless driving conviction, it is crucial to have a strong defense attorney who can contest your charges or find alternative ways to resolve them. Hiring a competent Sussex County reckless driving defense attorney to handle your case and represent you in court is crucial if you want to avoid harsh penalties and a criminal conviction on your record.
Sussex County reckless driving attorney Samantha Upton is prepared to give you knowledgeable legal advice, protect your rights, and help you navigate the legal system. Upton Law, PLLC, is a women-led criminal defense and traffic ticket law firm.
Contact Samantha today for a free and confidential consultation.
What Is Considered Reckless Driving?
In Sussex County, reckless driving is defined in Virginia Code Section 46.2-852 as operating a vehicle in a manner that endangers the “life, limb, or property” of another person, whether a motorist, motorcyclist, cyclist, or pedestrian. Law enforcement officers may pull you over and perform a traffic stop if they believe you are driving recklessly.
If you are speeding in a manner that endangers others, you could be charged with “reckless driving by speed.” Driving 20 mph over the speed limit in a given area or driving over 85 mph on any roadway could incur a charge of reckless driving by speed.
You can also be charged with reckless driving if you drive too fast for the conditions. For instance, if you are driving on an ice-covered roadway and don’t adjust your speed for the hazardous weather, you could be charged with reckless driving.
Other behaviors that can constitute reckless driving include:
- Driving with an obstructed view of the road
- Passing or overtaking an emergency vehicle
- Failing to maintain adequate control of a vehicle
- Street racing
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Passing on a curve
What Are the Penalties for Driving Recklessly in Sussex County?
Reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. The penalties for a Class 1 misdemeanor include a fine of up to $2,500 and no more than one year in jail. You could also be prohibited from operating a vehicle for up to six months, and six points could be added to your driving record.
For context, a Class 1 misdemeanor charge is in the same classification as driving under the influence (DUI) in Virginia.
Possible Defenses to Reckless Driving Charges
In a criminal matter, the prosecution must be able to prove every element of the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense’s primary role is to introduce reasonable doubt.
Your attorney could present numerous possible defenses to fight a reckless driving charge, depending on the facts and circumstances of your case. Some of the most common defenses used in reckless driving cases include:
- Emergency situations – If you chose to speed because you were in an emergency, that could serve as a strong defense in a reckless driving case. For example, if you were rushing someone to a hospital, you could argue that exceeding the speed limit was necessary.
- Lack of evidence – While a law enforcement officer can issue you a citation for reckless driving, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will stand up in court. If there isn’t sufficient evidence to say for sure that you were driving in a manner that endangered other people or their property, then the charge could be dismissed.
- No proof of speeding – You could challenge the prosecutor’s assertion that you were speeding before you were pulled over. If the speed limit was not clearly established on the road you were traveling on, that could also work in your favor.
If you have no prior charges or convictions on your record, a judge might be more willing to exercise leniency and could reduce your charges to improper driving, which is a simple traffic infraction and not a criminal misdemeanor charge.
Can Reckless Driving Be Charged as a Felony?
A reckless driving charge could be upgraded to a Class 6 felony if you were operating a motor vehicle while your license was suspended or revoked or if someone was killed due to your recklessness.
If you are charged with felonious reckless driving, you should secure legal representation immediately. The penalties for a felony conviction are even more severe than they are for a misdemeanor. Class 6 felonies are punishable by one to 20 years in prison, steep fines, and driver’s license suspension.
How a Sussex County Reckless Driving Lawyer Can Help You
If you have been charged with reckless driving in Sussex County, Attorney Samantha Upton has the resources to help you by:
- Thoroughly evaluating your case, deducing all of the potential outcomes, and helping you understand the possible consequences of a conviction
- Managing every aspect of your case on your behalf
- Strategizing a solid defense and effectively presenting your case before the court
- Proposing alternative resolutions such as enrolling in and completing a driver improvement course
Samantha Upton understands how nerve-wracking it can be to face a reckless driving charge. Hiring a seasoned reckless driving defense lawyer like Samantha can give you peace of mind and significantly improve your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.
Contact a Sussex County Reckless Driving Defense Attorney Today
If you were charged with reckless driving in Sussex County, contact Virginia reckless driving defense lawyer Samantha Upton at Upton Law, PLLC, to get started on your case. Don’t let a reckless driving charge ruin your future. Samantha is ready to work to build a strong defense on your behalf.