Florida Licensed Drivers Accused of Reckless Driving In Virginia
Riley & Wells Attorneys-At-Law is a Virginia law firm that specializes in reckless driving defense. Our attorneys possess over 45 years of collective experience. We know how to represent and protect our clients who are licensed to drive by the Sunshine State. Our lawyers consult with Florida motorists who have been charged with criminal misdemeanor reckless driving in Virginia every day. The most common incident involves speeding on I-95, I-85, I-77, I-81 and the Eastern Shore.
***Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in all Virginia Courts***
Virginia Reckless Driving Attorneys That Defend Florida Drivers
Reckless driving in Virginia is classified as a criminal misdemeanor offense. A reckless driving conviction is punishable by up to 12 months in jail, loss of driving privileges and fines of up to $2,500. A conviction will also trigger the assessment of moving violation demerit points, significant increases in automobile insurance rates and potential employment issues. Virginia law contains 20 different reckless driving statutes. The most enforced statute criminalizes excess speed according to Virginia Code 46.2-862.
CAUTION: A reckless driving conviction will on average increase the automobile insurance premium by 73% or $1,046 EACH YEAR according to Insurance.com
Reckless Driving Defense Attorneys in Virginia Client Reviews
Florida Speeders Can Be Incarcerated By The Virginia Reckless Driving Law
Many Florida drivers are shocked once they learn that merely speeding is a criminal offense in Virginia that can lead to harsh penalties. Florida law does not automatically criminalize excessive speed like Virginia. Virginia code 46.2-862 criminalizes excessive speed in cases where the motorist is driving over 85 miles per hour or 20 miles per hour above the posted speed limit. According to Florida statute 316.1926, speeding 50 mph over the limit may still only be a traffic infraction.
NOTE: The issuance of a summons or traffic ticket for reckless driving is NOT a conviction.
Driving Faster Than 80 mph is Reckless Driving in Virginia
A typical scenario for the Florida driver involves driving through Virginia on Interstates 95 and 85. The speed limit in some places on Interstate 95 is 70 miles per hour. This can trigger being charged with a criminal misdemeanor offense for merely speeding 11 miles per hour over the posted speed limit of 70 miles per hour because speed evidence in excess of 85 miles per hour violates the Virginia reckless driving law.
Excessive Speed Alone Can Be Reckless Driving in Virginia
In Virginia, speed alone can prove a violation of the reckless driving law. The prosecution is only required to prove the alleged driver was operating a motor vehicle at an excessive speed. The prosecution does not have to prove that the driver intended to speed or to violate the reckless driving law. However, the Virginia Judge is not required by law to find the defendant motorist guilty of reckless driving even if the evidence proves a violation.
The Virginia Reckless Driving Law is Different Than Florida
On the other hand, Florida law requires evidence of other actions to prove willful or wanton conduct combined with excessive speed in order to be guilty of reckless driving. “Grossly Excessive” speeding on the other hand can be considered reckless driving if driving 80 mph in a 35 mph residential neighborhood or driving 120 mph on the interstate. In Florida, a motorist can often appear before the local clerk’s office to fix their traffic case if they elect to attend a traffic school. That is not the case in Virginia.
Consult a Virginia Reckless Driving Lawyer Before Pleading Guilty
In Virginia, every case goes before the Judge on a trial date. A conviction for reckless driving in Virginia will be reported to Florida. It is also important to note that Florida treats out-of-state convictions as if the violation was received in Florida. The conviction will post to the Florida driving record and demerit points will be assessed against the Florida driver. Florida driver’s are often under the mistaken belief that a summons for driving faster than 80 mph is merely a minor speeding ticket and not worth defending.
Let us review YOUR case. We can help!
6/23/2019 | Updated 1/22/2022