Can You Appeal a Reckless Driving Charge in Virginia?

September 18, 2023
reckless businessman driving in the city during the rush hour while talking on his phone

You’re driving on Virginia’s scenic roads and suddenly, you hear sirens. You pull over, and you’re hit with a reckless driving charge in Virginia. Though it feels like a worst-case scenario, it’s not the end. You have options, including the possibility of an appeal.

This blog will outline how you can manage a reckless driving charge in Virginia and how Rudolphi Law can support you through the complexities of the legal system.

The Legal Parameters of Reckless Driving in Virginia

Virginia has one of the strictest sets of reckless driving laws in the United States. There are about 15 different types of reckless driving in Virginia. One example is under the Code of Virginia, Section 46.2-852, stating that reckless driving is broadly defined as operating a motor vehicle “at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.” Another common form of reckless driving is found under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-862, stating that traveling 20+mph over the speed limit or 85+mph generally is reckless driving.

This means that the charge is not limited to one set of elements. You can be cited for reckless driving for actions such as failing to yield, speeding, or even passing a stopped school bus.

The Severity of the Charge

Reckless driving in Virginia is not a mere traffic infraction; it’s a class 1 misdemeanor. This places it in the same legal category as DUI and simple assault. The implications of a reckless driving conviction are far-reaching.

Penalty ranges include up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, and a license suspension of up to 6 months. Additionally, a conviction will add six demerit points to your driving record, which could significantly impact your auto insurance premiums and potentially lead to license suspension.

Since reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor, a conviction would mean you have a criminal record. This can have long-lasting implications on various aspects of your life, including employment and housing opportunities.

The Process of Appealing

You do have the right to appeal a reckless driving conviction in Virginia. However, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

  • First, you must file your appeal to Circuit Court within 10 days of the conviction. This deadline is strictly enforced, so it is important to act quickly.
  • Second, you will need to hire an attorney to represent you in the appeal. An experienced reckless driving attorney will be familiar with the Virginia reckless driving laws and will be able to help you build a strong case.

If you are appealing a reckless driving conviction, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you determine if you have a valid legal reason to appeal and can represent you in the appeal process.

Unlike other appeals, an appeal from General District Court to Circuit Court for a criminal or traffic case does not require grounds for appeal. It is what’s called a de novo appeal. This means that you would get a brand new trial for your Reckless Driving case if you had to appeal it.

Appealing a reckless driving conviction can be daunting since Circuit Court is more serious. If you have been charged with reckless driving, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.

Take Action Now

A reckless driving charge in Virginia is not just another traffic ticket; it’s a criminal offense that can carry significant penalties. Yet, it’s also not an irrevocable sentence. Even if you have been convicted, you still have the option to appeal. However, the best approach is to hire a Fairfax traffic attorney as soon as you get your ticket to put your best foot forward and avoid having to appeal the case later.

With specialized knowledge in the Virginia legal landscape, Rudolphi Law provides you with the skilled advocacy needed to manage your case effectively. If you’ve been charged with reckless driving or another serious offense, don’t go it alone—your future is too important to risk.

Contact us today.