Work to see that the charge gets dismissed, amended, or reduced and ultimately with no conviction and no license consequences
What we try to do: we negotiate with the Commonwealth Attorney and the police to see if they will reduce the charge to
46.2-862 A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles an hour or more in excess of the applicable speed limit or (ii) in excess of 80 miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit. Reckless driving by speed is a Class 1 criminal misdemeanor and the most common form of reckless driving. You were either paced by the officer or you went through a speed trap where they were using radar or LIDAR. Ask yourself: were you on a “public highway”? Were you aware of your speed? Has your car been calibrated, is your speedometer working? Did you react to another speed limit sign earlier and thought it still applied?
46.2-853 Driving a vehicle which is not under control: faulty brakes
46.2-854 Passing on or at the crest of a grade or curb
46.2-855 Driving with driver’s view obstructed or control impaired
46.2-856 Passing two vehicles abreast
46.2-857 Driving two abreast in a single lane
46.2-858 Passing at a railroad grade crossing
46.2-859 Passing a stopped school bus: prima facie evidence
46.2-860 Failing to give proper signals
46.2-861 Driving too fast for highway and traffic conditions
46.2-862 Exceeding the speed limit: discussed above
46.2-863 Failure to yield the right-of-way
46.2-864 Reckless driving on parking lots
46.2-865 Racing: Penalty
46.2-865.1 Injuring another or causing death of another while engaging in a race
It is always desirable to have the charge of reckless driving amended to a lesser charge of improper driving under the above code section. Although improper driving does carry negative 3 points on the DMV record, it is much better than negative 6 points for reckless driving, it is not a class one misdemeanor and there is no ability for the court to suspend your license. Also, after court you can take a safe driving course on your own and receive 5 positive points, so even with the conviction your DMV record will go up 2 points. This all originated from a Reckless Driving ticket.
Consequences: if found guilty of this violation you shall be guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor which carries up to one year in jail and a $2500 fine, and you lose your driving privileges for up to 6 months. Losing a license sets up any person to incur future driving violations which can quickly spiral.
Expect a suspension if you are over 90 mph, or 85 in some jurisdictions. Expect a jail sentence if over 95, or 90 in some jurisdictions, or any speed over 80 if your DMV record is so bad the court thinks jail is merited.
Some jurisdictions but not all (Prince William County does) have instructed the police officer to charge the person they deem at fault (at the accident scene) with a general reckless driving charge. The police are instructed to do this by the local prosecutor to ensure that, if needed due to the severity of the accident or your driving behavior, they can find you guilty of reckless driving if they feel it is deserved. Often in this situation you are overcharged just for their convenience when they review the case the day of court. It is important to have these charges reduced whenever you can to avoid having a reckless driving charge that was a result of a minor fender-bender.