Maryland Drivers Charged With Reckless Driving Speeding In Virginia
Maryland and Virginia share a border, but the reckless driving laws in each state are significantly different. Maryland drivers need to know that you can be convicted of misdemeanor reckless driving for excessive speed in Virginia, where the penalties include loss of driving privileges and a possible jail sentence, none of which cannot happen in Maryland. Reckless driving in Maryland is NOT a jailable offense. If you are a Maryland licensed driver and are convicted of violating any Virginia reckless driving offense, then the conviction will be eventually reported to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). The Virginia court will first report the conviction to the Virginia DMV. The Virginia DMV will create a driver record based on the conviction, if a driver record does not already exist, and forward the conviction information to the Maryland MVA. The Maryland MVA will then post the Virginia conviction to the Maryland driving record. The Maryland MVA may asses demerit points for the out-of-state Virginia conviction depending on the offense. Eventually, the automobile insurance company will receive notification of the Virginia conviction, which will likely trigger changes to the policy.
Hire A Virginia Reckless Diving Lawyer Experienced Defending Maryland Motorists
Riley & Wells Attorneys-At-Law has been defending Maryland licensed drivers for over 25 years and our lawyers have over 40 years of collective experience. Our law firm receives calls every day from Maryland drivers who have been accused of reckless driving. We have the experience to properly defend your Virginia reckless driving case. Call today for a free case evaluation. NOTE: issuance of a Virginia Uniform Summons (the “traffic ticket”) is NOT a conviction.
Maryland has 1 reckless driving law. According to Maryland traffic code Section 21-901.1, a person is guilty of reckless driving for driving a a motor vehicle:
1. In wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property; or
2. In a manner that indicates a wanton and or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property.
This is similar to what Virginia calls the reckless driving general law according to 46.2-852; however, in Virginia there are 14 reckless driving laws and ignorance of the law is not a defense.
Maryland Speeders Can Serve a Jail Sentence In VA For Reckless Driving
The Virginia reckless driving law for speeding is a very serious law with very serious consequences. This often comes as a surprise to many Maryland motorists because Maryland is fairly lenient on speeders. Virginia code 46.2-862 is the most commonly enforced Virginia reckless driving law. This law criminalizes speed where the speed evidence is either 20 miles per hour above the posted speed limit or in excess of 80 miles per hour. In Maryland, speeding 40 mph over the limit is still only an infraction punishable by a fine and demerit points – incarceration not possible. In Virginia, speed evidence that violates the misdemeanor reckless driving law which can trigger penalties as follows:
- Loss of driving privileges
- $2500 fine
Or consider this, speed evidence of 81 mph in a 70 mph zone is also reckless driving in Virginia. This type of case may not trigger a jail penalty; however, it is still a misdemeanor reckless driving offense and may trigger loss of driving privileges, which can negatively affect the Maryland driver. In Maryland, the MD driver’s license may be considered suspended if the driving privilege is suspended in Virginia. Driving on a suspended driver’s license in Maryland is illegal and a jailable offense. A solution would be to secure restricted privileges in Virginia or reach an alternative solution.
Maryland Drivers May Need A Local Virginia Lawyer For Other Traffic Violations
In Maryland, minor traffic violations can be disposed of through what the Court calls “probation before judgment” (PBJ). PBJ essentially means that although you admitted you were guilty, or there were sufficient facts to find you guilty at a trial, the judge does not enter a final judgment of “conviction” in the case. The charge will not appear on your regular driving record, no demerit points will be assessed; however, the event will likely appear on the Maryland PBJ record. In Virginia, there is no such thing as “probation before judgment.” On the other hand, a skilled Virginia traffic lawyer is able to defend your Virginia traffic violation so that the original demerit point offense is either dismissed or reduced to a no demerit point offense. The end goal of protecting the driving record and automobile insurance policy may be the same, but in Virginia it is a bit more difficult.
The Maryland Point System
In Maryland, each moving violation offense is assessed a demerit point value. A conviction must occur for the points to go into effect on your driving record. The higher the number of points, the more weight the offense has against your driving record. Point accumulation remains on your Maryland driving record indefinitely. Accumulating 3 to 4 points over 2 years will result in the Maryland MVA issuing a written caution. The warning is to advise that accruing another conviction that carries demerit points will result in further problems. Receive 5 to 7 points in 2 years and the MVA will require you to you sign up for a Points System Conference (PSC) and/or complete a driver improvement program (DIP). Assessment of 8 to 11 points in 2 years, will trigger suspension of driving privileges by the Maryland MVA. Accumulation of 12 points in 2 years will result in revocation of driving privileges by the MVA.
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By Mitch Wells 5/21/2016