Street Racing – What Is Felony Reckless Driving and How Can a Defense Attorney Help?
Reckless driving is a crime in Virginia and charges occur due to excessive speed or an accident. It’s categorized as a Class 1 misdemeanor. When you travel over 85 mph in a highway zone or 20 miles over the posted speed limit, it is considered reckless driving. Upon conviction, a person may face a jail term of 12 months. In some cases, it may result in a permanent criminal record. When charged with reckless driving, it’s vital to hire a criminal defense attorney.
What Is Street Racing?
Street racing is defined as the racing of vehicles on highways. Virginia code section 46.2-865 states that racing is a type of reckless driving. No person has the right to race any motor vehicle on any public road or highway in the state of Virginia. Any person who does so willfully is guilty of racing. The state considers it as a disregard for public safety.
What Is Considered Proof of Racing?
The court considers several factors to determine proof of racing. They include the time of day, weather conditions, and presence of other individuals. They also factor in if your driving was beyond mere negligence. It’s the responsibility of the state to prove intent. For example, two cars are driving fast. If the one behind is attempting to pass the other vehicle, that may be enough proof for someone to be arrested and charged in Virginia. Law enforcement needs to confirm that the driver acted willfully. They need to show that you compromised the safety of other people.
Penalties for a Racing Charge in Virginia
If you violate section 46.2-865, you are guilty of street racing which falls under the charges of a Class 1 misdemeanor. When convicted of these charges, the most severe punishment includes a year in jail and $2,500 in fines. Racing offenses that cause injury or death attract increased penalties. Reckless driving felony offenses that involve physical injury and wilful and wanton conduct fall under Class 6 felony charges. The maximum punishment is five years in prison and $2,500 in fines. If the offense involves death, it is a felony charge. The maximum sentence is 20 years in jail and criminal penalties. According to the code, if it was a prearranged race, the state can confiscate your car.
Whether it’s your first, second, or third reckless driving charge, contact a defense attorney. A lawyer with extensive experience will help you get a better result than you would on your own. There is a chance that you may have your charge reduced or dismissed.
Are Racing Charges a Misdemeanor or Felony?
In Virginia, drag racing is a serious form of reckless driving. It can either be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances. Misdemeanor racing is a speed contest between two or more drivers. Street racing on a driveway, commonwealth highway, or public property is illegal. Felony drag racing charges occur if someone is injured or killed.
When charged with such a crime, you need to hire an experienced reckless driving lawyer. They will build a strong defense strategy to help you avoid harsh penalties. In most cases, the conviction for this kind of reckless driving is a penalty, like a driver’s license suspension or an active or suspended jail sentence. A reckless driving charge is very serious and should not be minimized.
Can You Lose Your Driver’s License if Charged with Racing?
Most drivers, once they’re convicted of reckless driving in Virginia, lose their license. A reckless driving conviction can result in losing your license in two ways. The first way is the judge handling your case may impose a license suspension. The second way is the DMV may suspend your license because of excessive points against it. In many reckless driving cases, license suspension is not a default punishment. Under section 46.2-865, the suspension period can range from six months to two years.
What Is Felony Reckless Driving?
Certain circumstances may force an officer to charge you with felony reckless driving. It could happen if you injured someone else who was not part of the race or if someone died because of the speed contest. Felony reckless driving charges are severe. If someone got injured due to reckless driving, the charges are a Class 6 felony. If convicted, you face jail time of up to a year of prison time of up to five years plus a fine of $2,500. If the drag race caused the death of someone, it is a special felony. If convicted, you face 1 to 20 years in prison. You must serve a mandatory one year in jail. On top of that, you face a driver’s license suspension for one to three years.
Hire a Defense Attorney if You Are Accused of Racing
Reckless driving is a criminal offense in Virginia. Your risk jail time because it falls under Class 1 misdemeanors. It could also result in a permanent criminal record. In such a case, it’s best to hire a defense attorney. For the best results, choose a professional with vast experience in criminal cases.
Here at The Decker Law Firm, we have a team of attorneys ready to help you with your reckless driving case. Our attorneys are always prepared to help you through difficult times. Contact us today if you are looking for legal defense for criminal charges.