New York Drivers: Don’t get Caught Reckless Driving in Virginia

New York Drivers: Don’t get Caught Reckless Driving in Virginia

Guest post by Andrew Flusche, Virginia reckless driving lawyer

In my Virginia reckless driving defense practice, you’d be surprised how many New York drivers I’ve represented. Even if you’re not from Virginia, you need to be aware of the law in Virginia regarding reckless driving.

What is reckless driving in Virginia?

Much to many people’s surprise, in Virginia going over 80 miles an hour or 20 or more miles an hour over the limit is considered reckless driving. That’s a class 1 misdemeanor that can be punished by jail up to one year, a fine up to $2,500 and/or license suspension up to six months.

How does this apply to New York drivers? What I see happening in many cases is New York drivers going to / from Florida. They are on the interstate here in Virginia, typically I-95, and they end up going a little bit over 80 miles an hour. They get stopped for what they think is a speeding ticket and the trooper cites them for reckless driving.

Unfortunately, like I mentioned, any speed over 80 miles an hour in Virginia is considered reckless driving. When you have a 70 mph speed limit and you’re going 11 mph over the limit, that is a reckless driving ticket. Some troopers give out-of-state people a little break sometimes if their record’s coming back clean and they’re polite and cooperative. They might just knock it down to a regular speeding ticket where you can just pay it and not have to worry about it. However, some troopers go by the book; if they get you at 11 mph over the limit, they will write it for reckless driving.

What do I need to do about a Virginia reckless driving ticket?

The most important thing that I always recommend is to talk with a local, experienced traffic attorney who regularly handles cases like yours in the court in question. There’s a lot of adjectives included there, and that’s because there are a lot of important things you need to look for in the attorney that you decide to talk with.

Even when getting a free consultation with an attorney, you need to make sure you’re talking with the right person. If you’re talking with somebody who doesn’t normally practice in the court in question, they might give you incorrect advice. If they’re not local to the court and don’t regularly handle cases there, they won’t really know if they’re giving you the right advice or not. It’s important to talk with a local who’s regularly handling cases in that court, because reckless driving cases differ greatly depending upon the local judge and prosecutor.

Am I really facing jail time for reckless driving in Virginia?

Not usually. Jail time is technically a possible punishment for any charge of reckless driving. However, it doesn’t typically happen in Virginia, at least in the counties where I practice, unless you’re charged with a very high speed. Where I practice, jail time typically only occurs in cases where you’re charged with going more than 30 mph over the limit or over 100 mph. In those cases jail time is a serious threat, and in fact in a 100 mph and above case, jail time is almost a certainty.

I’ve had more than a handful of New York clients who are surprised at the harsh law in Virginia that could give them jail for what they see as just a speeding ticket.

What’s the bottom line?

The most important thing to remember is that any time you’re in Virginia, keep the speed limit under 80. That’s the easiest way to protect yourself from a Virginia reckless driving ticket.

If somehow you do end up with a Virginia reckless driving ticket, it’s important to talk with a local, experienced attorney who can navigate the case and tell you if you even need an attorney or not.

Andrew Flusche lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia and helps people from all over the country with their Virginia reckless driving tickets. He also wrote the consumer book, Fight Your Virginia Reckless Driving Ticket. Find Andrew on Google+.

Gokhan Yazici

Gokhan Yazici is an experienced attorney and counsellor practicing in the state of New York. He is specialized in U.S. Immigration Law, Corporate & Business Law, Business Transactions, Commercial Litigation, International Trade & U.S. Customs Law. Mr. Yazici holds an LL.B. degree from Istanbul University Law School and an LL.M. degree from Temple University James Beasley School of Law.