virginia reckless driving lawyer

Richmond VA Reckless Driving Lawyer, Sara Gaborik

IF YOU HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH RECKLESS DRIVING, YOU NEED AN TOUGH VIRGINIA TRAFFIC LAWYER

Do you need a Richmond VA Reckless Driving Lawyer? As you consider Richmond traffic lawyers or those who serve nearby areas like Henrico, Essex, Prince George, or Chesterfield, you will discover that some attorneys handle reckless driving cases while others do not. Sara Gaborik has handled many such cases throughout Richmond and the surrounding areas and can help you with your situation.

In Virginia, law enforcement can issue a warrant for reckless driving for a range of infractions including speeding, causing an accident, almost causing an accident, or just simply driving recklessly.  Reckless driving is a serious offense and court-ordered penalties can include fines up to $2,500, license suspensions up to six months for most types of reckless driving, up to six negative points on your driving record, and up to one year in jail. Most people are surprised to learn just how seriously the Commonwealth treats this offense and some realize, too late, that they need an experienced attorney to handle the charges against them.

Virginia Code § 46.2-852

subjects drivers to the reckless driving penalties if they are found driving “on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.” In addition to this general rule, Virginia classifies various specific acts as reckless driving. Some of the more common ones include:

  • Exceeding the speed limit. Driving twenty miles per hour or more above the speed limit and driving over eighty miles per hour regardless of the speed limit qualify as reckless driving in Virginia. Virginia Code § 46.2-862.

  • Driving too fast for highway and traffic conditions. This charge can depend on a law enforcement officer’s judgment because it contemplates speeds that are “reasonable” under the circumstances and traffic conditions at the time. Virginia Code § 46.2-861.

  • Failure to yield right-of-way. The law defines specific circumstances under which a driver fails to yield right-of-way. Virginia Code § 46.2-863.

  • Failure to give proper signals. Drivers must provide “adequate and timely” signals of intention to turn, partly turn, slow down, or stop. Virginia Code § 46.2-860.

  • Racing. A conviction for racing carries a mandatory license suspension of six months to two years. Virginia Code § 46.2-865. If you injure someone while racing, you are subject to punishment for a Class 6 felony. If you kill someone while racing, you face mandatory imprisonment for at least one year. Virginia Code § 46.2-865.1.

  • Passing a stopped school bus. Drivers who fail to stop for a school bus discharging children, the elderly, or mentally or physically handicapped persons, and those who fail to remain stopped until those persons have cleared the roadway, may be charged with reckless driving. Virginia Code § 46.2-859.

  • Driving a vehicle which is not under control; faulty brakes. Driving a vehicle not under control or one with inadequate or improperly adjusted brakes may be charged with reckless driving. Virginia Code § 46.2-853.

RECKLESS DRIVING CAN CAUSE SIGNIFICANT COLLATERAL ISSUES AND DAILY LIVING PROBLEMS

Those who are convicted of reckless driving live with collateral consequences above and beyond the court-imposed penalties. A reckless driving conviction makes it more difficult to obtain driving insurance. Companies willing to insure those who have received such convictions place these drivers in a higher risk category and charge substantially higher rates. Some reckless driving charges are serious enough that conviction could even hamper one’s ability to pass an employer background check.

If you lose your license due to reckless driving, you face dramatic changes in your lifestyle. Unless you qualify for a restricted license, you will not be allowed to drive to and from work. If you have to take public transportation or adjust your schedule so you can ride with someone else, you may have to allocate more of your time to commuting. If you are responsible for bringing your children to school or daycare, you will have to make alternative arrangements. Even with a restricted license, you will not be allowed to drive to your friend’s house for dinner, take your spouse out for an evening, or take the family somewhere on vacation.

Those who lose their licenses for reckless driving live with the constant reminder that they can no longer enjoy many of the simple freedoms they once took for granted. They also find themselves in awkward situations, trying to explain why they cannot attend a gathering of friends or need a ride to certain functions.

WHY YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED VIRGINIA ATTORNEY TO DEFEND YOU AGAINST RECKLESS DRIVING CHARGES

Because the penalties for reckless driving can be significant, individuals should secure legal representation to defend against such charges. The primary reasons for obtaining an attorney are:

  • Some prosecutors will only negotiate with attorneys—without an attorney, you may not be able to reach a plea agreement;

  • If you negotiate on your own behalf, you could inadvertently reveal incriminating information to the prosecutor whereas an attorney is trained in negotiation;
  • If you negotiate on your own behalf, you may be “too close” to the situation to get the best possible result; a lawyer can be more objective in a negotiation; and
  • If you represent yourself, you will not be able to benefit from an experienced attorney’s knowledge of the law and familiarity with the prosecutor and judge assigned to your case.

Although a reckless driving charge can encompass a large number of behaviors and activities, law enforcement officers tend to overcharge in this area.  This is where an experienced and competent attorney can make a substantial difference on your behalf.

Overcharging gives judges the leeway to reduce reckless driving charges. If your case cannot be dismissed outright, your attorney may be able to persuade the judge to convict, instead, on lesser charges such as driving with defective equipment or improper driving.  Lesser convictions like these carry lower fines, either no points or fewer points on your license, and qualify as driving infractions rather than as Class 1 Misdemeanors.

Sara Gaborik has over a decade of experience handling reckless driving cases in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  She knows the ramifications and consequences of a conviction and can help you reach the best possible outcome in your case.

Because she has represented drivers in such cases for many years, Ms. Gaborik is familiar with the judges in the jurisdictions she covers. She understands their particular issues and concerns in reckless driving cases and can tailor the presentation of your case to accommodate those specific areas of concern. She knows which arguments and factual issues are most likely to help her clients and how to present a thoroughly investigated case in a way that puts her clients’ situations in the most favorable light. This improves the chances of reduced charges.

In addition, Ms. Gaborik knows the prosecutors in the jurisdictions she covers. Knowing what they emphasize and how much leeway they have often allows her to negotiate favorable results on behalf of her clients. This can range from lesser charges to more lenient penalties.

CALL FOR YOUR LEGAL CONSULTATION

Sara Gaborik has represented defendants in reckless driving cases throughout Richmond, Henrico, Essex, Chesterfield, Prince George, and surrounding areas for over a decade. If you have been charged with reckless driving and would like a legal consultation, call Ms. Gaborik today at (804) 334-4351 or (804) 780-3080.