When it is about understanding the criminal law in Virginia, you have to start with the classification of the charges against you. You can be charged with either a felony charge or a misdemeanor charge. A felony can carry a heavy sentence of state custody or even the death penalty, while the most severe misdemeanor only brings up to a maximum of a year in a local jail. If you are convicted with a misdemeanor or felony, you actually need an experienced Virginia criminal defense lawyer to help prepare your best defense, thereby reducing your possible sentencing time.
In Virginia, reckless driving charge is considered as a Class 1 misdemeanor offense. So, reckless driving is a criminal offense as opposed to a traffic breach as is usually the case for a speed related offense. This is very concerning to our clients, most of them have no such criminal history, who are convicted with reckless driving for going as low as 11 miles per hour over the speed limit in a 70 mile per hour zone.
In Virginia, there are four different misdemeanor classifications, with a Class 1 being the most severe and the class four being the least serious. As such, a Class 1 misdemeanor offense in Virginia falls just one step short of being a felony. If found guilty, a Class 1 misdemeanor, such as reckless driving crime, can carry very severe consequences.
A Class 1 misdemeanor charge has a maximum possible sentence of a year of confinement in prison and a $2500 fine, not more than that. Some normal examples of Class 1 misdemeanors include: driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), reckless driving, assault & battery, and driving on a suspended license. A Class 1 misdemeanor offense will also carry secondary effects such as employment opportunities and security clearances.
Class 1 Misdemeanor Punishments
As mentioned initially, the most serious misdemeanor offense can carry a max sentence of up to a year in a local prison, rather than state prison. Class 1 misdemeanor offense are the most severe of the four classes, and it may also involve a fine of $2,500 not more than that. Some crimes, like driving under influence of alcohol or drugs, may carry further penalties such as loss of driving license and privileges. If you are convicted with a misdemeanor offense for a DUI that was the outcome of an auto accident, you can expect to have a civil case pending as well. Civil cases are brought forth to recoup monetary damages from the injured, not-at-fault party. Cases are independent and heard in entirely different courts.
If you’re facing criminal charges, you need an experienced Virginia criminal defense attorney who can help prepare your best defense. Please call the attorneys at Law Office Sris P.C and attorney firms and let our skilled team fight to get you the best possible result.