Reckless Driving Is More Serious In Virginia Than In Maryland
One common misconception people have regarding reckless driving charges is that most think of it as just a speeding ticket and expect the results to be similar to those of a speeding ticket. This often happens when someone who lives in another state gets a reckless driving ticket. Some states do not punish reckless driving the way they do in Virginia. For example, Maryland has a maximum fine of $500 for going at a certain rate of speed, but then as soon as people get to Virginia, they find out they would be looking at jail, suspension of their driving privilege and that sort of thing. It is a big misconception when people do not take reckless driving charges seriously.
A First Offense Is Still A Serious Offense
The second mistake people make is thinking everything will be okay because it was the first time they had been charged with reckless driving. That may not necessarily be the case.
The facts of that particular case would need to be taken into consideration. Someone who was driving at 85 mph, would still be punished even if they had a good driving record, so they would not just let the person go because it was the first time.
You Cannot Just Explain Your Story And Have Charges Dropped
Another big misconception is that people think everything will be okay if they go into court and just tell their story. Explaining it away is definitely not going to work either.
It Would Be Important To Hire An Experienced Attorney
The final misconception is people tend to think that lawyers are not necessary in these types of cases. They assume they will be convicted anyway, so they do not see the advantage having an attorney.
What Does The State Have To Prove In These Cases?
It would always be the government’s responsibility to prove each and every element beyond a reasonable doubt in every case. If they were charging someone with reckless driving because they were speeding, then they would they have to prove the person was going at that speed.
The witness in these cases would usually be a police officer who could say for sure how he knew the driver’s conduct really amounted to the speed they claimed. The other type of reckless driving is where the person was driving dangerously and carelessly so they endangered someone’s property, life and safety.
The officer would have to show that the person was driving and did something that was actually reckless and not just something the officer did not like. It would have to be something that could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, so it would rule out hunches and aggravation by the police officer.
Are Penalties Enhanced If Reckless Driving Charges Involve An Accident?
Penalties can be enhanced if the reckless driving charge involves an accident. For example, the judge in Loudon County said that he would start the penalties with jail if someone was injured as a result of reckless driving. Judges definitely take this into consideration, some more than others, even though the law does not require it.
Other charges that are similar to reckless driving, such as hit and run, have mandatory jail sentences. A hit and run would be if someone hit someone in an accident and then left the scene. This would be a felony, so it would have much more severe penalties.
For more information on Misconceptions About Reckless Driving, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (703) 691- 4366 today.