Tips from a Speeding Ticket Lawyer Hillsville, VA Motorists Turn to for Help
Are you looking for a speeding ticket lawyer in Hillsville, Virginia? You have come to the right place. Read on to discover what the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt can do to help.
Have You Been Charged with Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving is a very serious moving vehicle violation. Depending on the law that applies to your ticket, “reckless driving” is typically defined as the driver having complete disregard for the safety of others when behind the wheel. A reckless driving conviction can result in expensive fines, revocation or suspension of your driver’s license, and even jail time. Call Mark T. Hurt, an experienced Hillsville, VA speeding ticket lawyer, to find out how you can make the best out of your reckless driving charge.
Why Is Reckless Driving Particularly Significant?
In the legal context, the term “reckless” is generally applies behavior that is more dangerous than “negligent” behavior. Harm resulting from reckless behavior does not rise to the level of intentional harm, but it is treated more severely than harm caused as a result of negligence.
What does this mean for you? It means that punishments and stigmas associated with reckless driving are significantly more severe than those associated with negligent driving.
Potential Consequences for Reckless Driving
As your Hillsville, VA speeding ticket lawyer can explain, potential consequences for reckless driving depend on the specifics of your charge. If no one was hurt as a result of your driving, you will face criminal charges in court that carry hefty fines, a chance of losing your license, and potential jail time. If, however, someone was injured as a result of your driving you will face these criminal charges in addition to potential civil charges brought by the injure individual or his or her insurance company. For example, if your driving causes an accident and someone is injured, her or she may file a lawsuit. If he or she is successful in their lawsuit, you may be responsible for paying for both economic damages, such as hospital and car repair bills, and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. These civil penalties are in addition to the sentencing of the criminal court.
Criminally speaking, some reckless driving offenses are treated as misdemeanors, while others can rise to felony levels depending on factors involved. As a result, some reckless drivers may be compelled to pay fines, while others are required to perform community service or to remain incarcerated for a specific period.
Some actions are automatically considered reckless under various state laws, while others are discretionary. For example, in Virginia, 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, or anything over 80 miles per hour may be ticked as reckless driving, regardless of whether you were driving erratically, violated any other traffic laws, or caused an accident.
Running a stop sign or traffic light is also generally considered to be reckless behavior. Some states consider texting while driving to be reckless behavior, which may impact both criminal and civil consequences for any harm caused by your “distracted driving.” Your Hillsville, VA speeding ticket lawyer will be able to evaluate your situation and determine what type of penalties you may be facing.
If you have either been cited for reckless driving, Mark T. Hurt can help you to determine your next steps. Speaking with an attorney does not obligate you to move forward in any specific way. But it will allow you access to someone who can knowledgeably answer your questions and address any concerns you may have.
Now that you have learned about what reckless driving, is, it’s time to consider what you need to do to protect your record.
When it comes to having a criminal record, many people don’t usually think of reckless driving as a crime. In fact, if you have never been charged with reckless driving before and a police officer gives you this ticket, you may think it’s just another speeding ticket. While a police officer may not point out how serious it is when they pull you over, one of the first things you will probably notice is that there isn’t the option to pay for the ticket in advance, you have to go to court. Additionally, this is not the kind of ticket you want to fight for on your own. Instead, you should have the proper defense on your side when you go in front of a judge. Below, you will find more information from a speeding ticket lawyer in Hillsville, VA regarding information about reckless driving tickets and possible defenses. Never underestimate how serious a reckless driving ticket is. Call the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt as soon as you have been charged.
What makes reckless driving different from other traffic tickets?
When a police officer gives you a traffic ticket, it is not a criminal charge. You have the option to pay in advance if you would rather not go to court (and admit that you are guilty), or go to court and plead guilty or not guilty and see if the charge goes through. With a reckless driving ticket, however, this can lead to a misdemeanor or a felony conviction, and the police officer will likely not give you the option of paying for this ticket in advance since it carries such heavy charges.
Why should I hire an attorney?
When you are charged with a reckless driving ticket, paying for an attorney can actually end up being cheaper than the fines you may receive if a judge convicts you of reckless driving. Additionally, if you already have a bad driving record, a judge may be less likely to afford you any grace when it comes to reducing or dropping these charges. However, your criminal defense attorney can help you determine which defense options can work in your specific situation.
Defending Yourself Against Reckless Driving
By now you understand the seriousness of a reckless driving charge. However, as Mark T. Hurt, a speeding ticket lawyer in Hillsville, VA, will tell you, it’s a long road from accusation to conviction. There are many angles from which to defend a reckless driving charge. Call the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt today for a complimentary case review to learn how a speeding ticket lawyer in Hillsville, VA can help you put on a strong defense.
Here are a few of the defenses that may be available to you, depending on the facts of your case:
- Inaccurate Radar Guns or Laser Devices
If the police officer measured the speed of your vehicle prior to and leading up to arresting you for reckless driving, the device they used may have been inaccurate. In fact, this is such a common problem that the law might require the officer to provide documentation proving the gun or laser device was recently calibrated. You have the right to examine the calibration report. Additionally, for the device’s reading to be considered valid in court, the report must show the identity of the person who conducted the calibration test and the date that the calibration test was conducted.
- Faulty Speedometer
As your speeding ticket lawyer in Hillsville, VA might tell you, if there is sufficient reason to believe that your vehicle’s speedometer might be malfunctioning, defective, or otherwise faulty, it may be wise to submit the speedometer to a shop for calibration testing. An experienced and competent attorney can oversee this process. If the law enforcement officer reported you as driving only a few miles faster than what would qualify as a traffic infraction rather than a criminal charge, it may be a good idea to check your speedometer calibration.
- Mistaken Identity
Depending on the circumstances of what led up to your arrest for reckless driving, it’s possible that the arresting officer mistook you for someone else. This occurs frequently during chaotic accident scenes. When there are several drivers or injured persons involved and the officer may have been overwhelmed by the circumstances of managing everything until backup arrived.
Remember, a reckless driving charge is very serious and potentially life-changing. It is possible to have your charges reduced or dropped entirely, but you will likely need the help of an experienced and competent Hillsville, VA speeding ticket lawyer. Call the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt today to find out what he can do for you.
“The law office exceeded my expectations by getting my reckless driving charge dismissed. Important things to note: The receptionist Carol was extremely amiable and even pushed the trial back a few months since I found them literally a day before my court date.”