Should you find yourself pulled over and questioned for reckless driving, there are several things you need to remember to build a strong defense. In Virginia, reckless driving is classified as a misdemeanor and not a traffic infraction, meaning it can attract a hefty fine, up to a year in jail, and a criminal record. Consequently, you’ll need a criminal defense attorney to represent your interests.
In this article, Matt C Pinsker, an award-winning criminal defense lawyer in Henrico and Richmond, Virginia, offers tips for avoiding reckless driving charges. Matthew is a former Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) professor who taught Criminal Justice. He previously served as both a Federal Special Prosecutor and State Prosecutor, as well as a Magistrate.
How Is Reckless Driving Defined in Virginia?
The definition of reckless driving depends on the state. Virginia laws define reckless driving as driving 20 mph over the speed limit or driving over 85 mph and driving recklessly or endangering a person or property. Do not ignore a charge of reckless driving. It can stay on your record for up to 11 years and have serious repercussions.
What Not To Say if You Are Stopped
Building a defense against reckless driving starts from the moment you’re stopped. Matthew offers the following to consider should you find yourself pulled over by the police.
Matt Pinsker Advises Be Respectful At All Times
Officers often have discretion in what charges to apply should they stop you. Therefore, it’s in your interest to remain calm and not become aggressive or argumentative.
Do Not Admit To Anything Which May Be Used Against You in a Court of Law
It’s human nature sometimes to be apologetic. This is one instance where it’s acceptable not to apologize or accept blame. Be mindful not to:
- Admit that you were driving too fast
- Admit that you were not paying attention
- Claim that other drivers were doing the same
- Claim that the car was on cruise control
It is best to speak as little as possible and wait until your legal representation can advise you.
Valid Defenses for Reckless Driving
Should your case progress to court, there may be some circumstances where it is possible to present a valid defense for reckless driving. Every situation is different, so you must speak with an experienced defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your legal representation will be able to advise you on your situation and what is and isn’t a relevant defense in your case.
Final Thoughts From Matt Pinsker on Avoiding Charges for Reckless Driving
Matt says: “Remember, every situation is different. However, because a charge of reckless driving carries the potential for a criminal record and jail time, I always advise you to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
If you are pulled over for reckless driving, following these simple tips can protect your rights and buy yourself time to seek legal advice.”
Have You Been Charged With Reckless Driving?
It can be scary and confusing if you or a loved one has been charged with reckless driving. You deserve the best support from legal professionals who genuinely care about your case. Matt Pinsker has extensive experience as a criminal defense lawyer specializing in reckless driving and DUI charges. Call him today at 804-690-1228 to discuss your case.