Tips from a Speeding Ticket Lawyer Hillsville, VA Motorists Turn to for Help
Legal vocabulary tends to have specific and significant meaning. The entire outcome of a case often ultimately rests on whether someone’s actions meets the threshold set by a specific term. In regards to motor vehicle accidents, the words “negligent” and “reckless” often color the entirety of any given case. While consequences for negligent driving can be harsh, consequences associated with reckless driving may be truly severe.
Reckless driving is a very serious moving vehicle violation. Other driving offenses such as careless driving are usually less serious. A reckless driving conviction can result in prison time, expensive fines, and the revocation or suspension of the person’s driving license. This charge is usually described as the driver having complete disregard for the safety of others when behind the wheel which may result in a serious accident involving innocent victims. Your speeding ticket lawyer in Hillsville, VA can provide you with specifics as it relates to your circumstances.
Why Is Reckless Driving Particularly Significant?
In both civil and criminal contexts, the term “reckless” is generally meant to define behavior that is more dangerous and more intentional 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. In some jurisdictions, reckless driving is referred to as either careless or dangerous driving.
What does this mean practically? It means that punishments and stigmas associated with reckless driving are significantly more severe than those associated with negligent driving. Reckless driving is generally defined as operating a motor vehicle with either a willful or wanton disregard for safety and/or consequences. Not all reckless driving results in harm, but the very act of driving recklessly can result in criminal consequences. Reckless driving that results in harm to another may also result in civil consequences.
Potential Consequences for Reckless Driving
As your speeding ticket lawyer can explain, potential consequences for reckless driving depend on the specifics of the situation and on the laws of the state in which the offense occurred. If reckless driving results in harm to another and they file a lawsuit, the offending driver may be held liable for both economic and non-economic damages associated with the harm done.
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, many states treat speeding infractions of greater than 25 miles per hour over the speed limit as reckless, whereas “only” 15 miles per hour excess speed would be treated as negligent.
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 a distracted driver. Drivers considered to be behaving recklessly are generally held accountable to a greater degree than drivers considered to be behaving negligently. 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 or have been harmed by a reckless driver, experienced legal counsel 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.
Defending Yourself Against Reckless Driving
If you have been charged with reckless driving, by now you understand the seriousness of this accusation. However, as a speeding ticket lawyer in Hillsville, VA from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt might tell you, it’s a long road from accusation to conviction. Despite the arresting officer’s reason or reasons for arresting you, an experienced lawyer may be able to cast sufficient doubt on your case to convince the prosecutor to drop your charge. Another possibility is a reduction of your charge. Call us today for a complimentary case review to learn how a speeding ticket lawyer in Hillsville, VA from our firm might be of assistance to you.
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. Your speeding ticket lawyer in Hillsville, VA has the right to examine the calibration report. Additionally, for the device’s reading to be considered valid in court, the report must reveal the following:
- The identity of the person who conducted the calibration test.
- The date that the calibration test was conducted.
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. Your speeding ticket lawyer can oversee this process if they decide it is worthwhile. 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 behooves getting your speedometer tested.
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. Alternately, someone may have stolen your driver’s license and presented it to the officer on scene before being arrested for reckless driving. Call us at The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt to speak with a speeding ticket lawyer in Hillsville, VA as soon as possible.
Protect Your Rights
If you were charged with reckless driving, it’s important to protect your rights. Call The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt and request a free consultation with an experienced speeding ticket lawyer Hillsville, VA relies on and who can provide you with the guidance you need to move forward.