Reckless driving in Virginia or anywhere really, can get you more than just a ticket. It is a serious misdemeanor and can cost you any of the following: high fines, license suspensions, or even jail time if you are not careful. With increasing number of people opting for private cars these days, the number of drivers among the common people has grown exponentially, to say the least. It is, therefore, that much more important for people to be aware of the traffic laws in their respective states.
Virginia, like most other states has its own set of laws for traffic laws. There are quite a few categories of violations in the state of Virginia; Reckless driving, DUI (Driving Under Influence),Speeding, Driving on a suspended or revoked license, Following too closely, Impeding traffic, Improper passing, Improper U-turn, Running a red light.
Here however, receiving a traffic violation ticket does not necessarily make it a compulsion to pay the fine. You can always fight it in court if you think you are in the right. In court, you can either plead Guilty, or Not Guilty.
Pleading Guilty simply means paying your dues by the due date, and thus does not require you to go to court in the first place. The fine can simply be paid online or by mail. Note however, that this will also result in the violation being added to the person’s driving record. Moreover, demerit points will also be added to the record.
Pleading Not Guilty will mean fighting the case in court. The person either represent themselves or hire an attorney to represent them. This can be a challenging task, and comes with its risks too, because even though winning will mean that the fine no longer needs to be paid, losing means paying the fines, court fees and your attorney’s fees as well.
Speeding (1-9 MPH above the limit), improper U-turn, improper passing, no Virginia driver’s license, etc. – 3 points
Reckless driving, unsafe passing, following too closely, improper signal, etc. – 4 points
Speeding in excess of 80 MPH, racing, DUI, manslaughter, driving on suspended license, etc. – 6 points
These points can stay on the person’s record from 3 to 11 years. However, the state has set up a “driver improvement course” to help with gaining up to 5 merit points on the driving record. These courses are either assigned by the court or the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This is a chance for people to avoid going into the negatives in their driving points, or to avoid getting an increase in the premiums from their Insurance companies. Also, going one full calendar year without receiving any violations or suspensions gains you safe driving points. Finally, it must be kept in mind that if a person accumulates 18 demerit points in 12 months, or 24 demerit points in 24 months, their license could be suspended