The Driving Environment In The State Of Virginia

The State of Virginia and its population overwhelmingly considers driving as a privilege. This privilege is guaranteed through the agreement between drivers to heed state road laws, and the State to take certain considerations under advisement when prosecuting driver infractions. Both local drivers and police are well-aware of local road conditions and ordinances. This is why an infraction like reckless driving is taken so seriously in Virginia. There is a mutual understanding that reckless driving is a result of driver impairment, or emergency. Virginia law enforcement is highly trained in managing scenarios where each is the case.

Prosecution And Expunging Of Reckless Driving

The State of Virginia recognizes reckless driving to be in excess of 20 mph over the speed limit. Police have many options when determining a reckless driving case. Going 40 mph in a 20 mph zone is much different than going 85 mph in a 65 mph on an interstate highway. Speeds in excess of 80 or 90 mph indicate severe impairment, as opposed to ignorance about posted speed limits. Virginia police clock and diverge on extreme speeders because they present an abnormal and immediate danger to a great number of other drivers on the Virginia roadways.

With each potential reckless driving case, Virginia police will likely interview the driver, check for inebriation, and issue a ticket that requires a local court hearing. Since Virginia considers driving on public highways to be a privilege, if a driver is cited for reckless driving, they must plead their circumstances to a judge. If alcohol or other substances are determined to be the cause of the reckless driving citation, fines and jail time may be handed down. If the reckless driving citation was a simple lack of judgment, a ticket levy can be paid and expungement of the citation can be sought. Expungement is not easy, but it is helpful in maintaining a semi-clear driving record if travel in Virginia continues.

The Outcome Of Receiving A Virginia Reckless Driving Citation

The maximum penalty in Virginia for reckless driving in extreme situations is twelve months in jail. Along with this term a $2,500 fine and loss of driving privileges can ensue. These are the extremes. In most cases, reckless driving requires a fine coupled with restrictions noted on driver’s licenses. Also, the loss of certain employee and government security clearances can occur. Suspension of a driver’s license with a probationary period is almost always a certainty. The State of Virginia officially considers reckless driving offenses to be high level criminality. The worst reckless driving cases will result in jail time. Most others will result in expensive auto insurance penalties and noticeable marks on personal records. These records are very important when seeking employment and other things like loans and property titles.

The Expungement Process

The vast majority of reckless driving cases in the State of Virginia are denied the chance to be expunged. This is due to the charge’s rarity. It is understood that if a Virginia judge issues a reckless driving penalty, there remains no leeway in the case’s details. Most often, any petition for a Virginia reckless driving charge expungement is, “No!” The best chance for a reckless driving record expungement is when a judgment is issued under advisement. This is known as nolle prosequi expunge, or we shall no longer prosecute. This type of judgment in Virginia is issued to uphold the letter of the law, but gives the person being charged for reckless driving a chance to find evidence against his or her arraignment. With further proceedings, a Virginia reckless driving case having the title of nolle prosequi expunge, is only liable for a fiduciary penalty, but will retain full driving privileges and private information security on driving records.

Serving Reckless Driving Judgments Along With Expungement

The vast majority of modern reckless driving cases in Virginia are settled under advisement by a traffic judge. Exceeding a speed limit by 20 mph is extremely common on major highways, and is caused most by driver inattentiveness, not criminal misdoing. For this reason, reckless driving expungement is available with the commitment of the defendant to enroll in state-run driver’s school. This is not like high school driver’s education. The defendant will be responsible for written and oral interviews, competency testing, physical driving proficiency examination, and pay out-of-pocket expenses for each. Sometimes, people working toward having reckless driving offenses expunged will be mandated to give personal testimonial speeches to driver’s training classrooms.

Though expungement of a reckless driving citation is the ultimate goal, many times it is not necessary in Virginia. If a reckless driving case is taken under “advisement,” it will only be noted on a person’s driving record and not a new or continued criminal record. Expungement is most advantageous when there is the potential that the reckless driving citation will be tacked-on to a criminal record. There can be other financial pitfalls to having a reckless driving citation on a driving record as well, so it is advisable to willfully follow-through with all penalties and judgments handed-down for the offense.

Have You Been Charged With A Traffic Violation In Virginia, Maryland or Washington D.C.?

If you've been charged with a traffic violation you need to speak with an experienced traffic defense lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Vienna, Virgnia office directly at 703.991.7978 or our Rockville, Maryland office at 301.637.5392 to schedule your case consultation.

Yuvora Nong
Helping VA, MD & Washington D.C. clients with all of their immigration law legal needs since 1997.
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