Essex County Virginia Reckless Driving Speeding Traffic Lawyer

 Essex, virginia reckless driving speeding traffic court attorney

Essex county is located on Virginia's Middle Peninsula, just outside of the Washington D.C to Norfolk urban crescent.  The county's main town is Tappahannock.  The speed limit in Essex is generally maxes out at about 60 miles per hour, and there are two major highways that run through Essex County, U.S. Route 360 and U.S. Route 17.  In addition to Tappahannock, Mattox Law represents clients who receive traffic infractions and crimes throughout Essex County including Bowler's Wharf, Dunbrooke, Center Cross, Passing, Wares Wharf, Hustle, Blandfield, Dunnsville, Laneview, Brays Fork, Center Cross, Loretto, Butylo, Supply, Caret, Champlain, and Miller's Tavern to name a few of the towns located in Essex, Virginia.

What is Reckless Driving?

There are several varieties of reckless driving in Virginia, but the most prevalent is Virginia Code § 46.2-862 Exceeding speed limit.  This statute defines reckless driving as:

A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.

The speed limit on Route 360 and Route 17 through Essex County is 60 miles per hour.  Therefore, the majority of of the reckless driving charges I see in Essex are the variety at twenty miles per hour or more above the speed limit. 

The Reckless Driving Statutes

There are 14 different variations of reckless driving in Virginia.  The following is a list of the various reckless driving statutes:

·      § 46.2-852 Reckless driving; general rule

·      § 46.2-853 Driving vehicle which is not under control; faulty brakes.

·      § 46.2-854. Passing on or at the crest of a grade or on a curve.

·      § 46.2-855. Driving with driver's view obstructed or control impaired.

·      § 46.2-856. Passing two vehicles abreast.

·      § 46.2-857. Driving two abreast in a single lane.

·      § 46.2-858. Passing at a railroad grade crossing.

·      § 46.2-859. Passing a stopped school bus; prima facie evidence.

·      § 46.2-860. Failing to give proper signals.

·      § 46.2-861. Driving too fast for highway and traffic conditions.

·      § 46.2-862. Exceeding speed limit.

·      § 46.2-863. Failure to yield right-of-way.

·      § 46.2-864. Reckless driving on parking lots, etc.

·      § 46.2-865. Racing; penalty.

Classification and Penalties

Virginia Code § 46.2-868 dictates that reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor and therefore carries extremely serious consequences.  In Virginia, a Class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious category of misdemeanors and falls just one step short of a felony.  Specifically, as a Class 1 misdemeanor, reckless driving carries a maximum one year in jail, $2500 fine, and 6 month license suspension.  Additionally,  there are many secondary consequences such as increased insurance premiums, points on your driving record, license suspensions due to accumulation of points, and failed criminal background checks.

Defending Speeding Cases

Speeding charges in Virginia can vary significantly depending on the nature of the offense.  The most severe cases are often charged as reckless driving by speed, which elevates the offense from a simple traffic infraction to a class 1 misdemeanor.  Although speeding is an infraction rather than a misdemeanor, a conviction can still carry very serious consequences.  A speeding conviction can lead to points on your driving record, high fines, license suspension, and increased insurance rates.

Trey Mattox has represented hundreds of individuals charged with speeding offenses and has an outstanding record of having those charges reduced or dismissed.  Trey regularly saves Mattox Law clients hundreds of dollars in fines and insurance premiums as well as helping to preserve driving privileges.  Trey is intimately familiar with Virginia speeding laws and what is required of the officer ensuring that all possible legal strategies are pursued.

DUI Representation

A conviction for a DUI in Virginia carries very extreme consequences and can often lead to time in jail.  Similar to reckless driving, a first offense DUI is a class 1 misdemeanor which has a maximum 12 month license suspension, 12 months jail sentence, and $2,500 fine.  Additionally, there are mandatory minimum sentences which must be enforced by the judge upon conviction of an elevated DUI.  A DUI can become elevated due to the defendant's blood alcohol content and previous DUI convictions.  There are too many scenarios to list here, but I would invite you to contact me so that we can discuss your case and whether any of these factors would apply to your case.

Trey analyzes each case with extreme care in order to bring to light any possible defenses which can be used in trial.  This careful analysis can become important not only at trial but also during negotiations with the prosecutor.  There are often questionable situations in a DUI case which may not be significant enough to lead to a dismissal but can be used as leverage for a better plea agreement.  It is extremely important to contact an attorney who is willing to spend the time to go over every detail in order to get the best possible result for your case.

Defending Your Case

There are several tasks that I frequently have my clients complete prior to their scheduled court date in order to ensure the best possible outcome.  Alternatively, the judge will often have additional requirements before he is willing to reduce your charge.   The judge requires each of these items to be presented in the proper form.  Failure to follow every requirement can result in a conviction.  When looking for an attorney, be careful to speak with someone who is knowledgeable of the judge's rules.  Below please find links describing some of the mitigation evidence I use to defend my clients.  Please give me a call or email for additional suggestions on mitigation evidence for your Essex traffic case.

  • Driving School - Completion of a defensive driving course can be very valuable to the defense of a reckless driving charge.  Often completing the course prior to your scheduled court date can be a useful tool to get the best possible outcome for your case.
  • Speedometer Calibration - Speedometer calibrations are often the single most important piece of evidence I present while defending reckless driving cases.  It is extremely important to have your vehicle properly calibrated in order to ensure that it is admissible in court and can be as beneficial as possible to the outcome of your case.
  • Community Service - Community service can be a powerful piece of mitigation evidence used to help get the best possible result in court.  In some cases a judge will order the defendant to complete community service as a requirement for a reduction of the charged offense.  On other occasions, I will advise my clients to complete community service hours proactively in order to present the best case possible.

Fortunately, the judge in Essex is typically good about working with individuals faced with traffic violations, and I am frequently able to negotiate a reduction.  However, the judge is very particular with what he requires for a reduction.  It is extremely important to speak with an attorney who is familiar with Essex and how the court handles its docket. 

Essex General District Court

It is also important to retain an attorney who has a very good working relationship with the Essex Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office.  The Commonwealth’s Attorney or prosecutor does not typically get involved in speeding or reckless driving charges; however, for more serious offenses such as Driving on a Suspended License, DUI, or Possession of Marijuana, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office plays a prominent role.  It is extremely important to choose an attorney who is very familiar with the Commonwealth’s Attorney prosecuting your case.

If you have been pulled over in Essex County please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.  I offer free consultations and am available by phone (804) 451-6033 or email trey@mattoxlawpc.com

Essex General District Court

Clerk
Ms Dee Balderson Davis

Phone/Fax
Phone: (804) 443-3744
Fax: (804) 443-4122

Clerk's Office Hours
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Address
P. O. Box 66
300 Prince Street
Tappahannock, VA 22560

General District Judges

  • Hon. John S. Martin, Presiding Judge
  • Hon. John R. Stevens, Chief Judge
  • Hon. David B. Caddell Jr.
  • Hon. Hugh S. Campbell
  • Hon. Richard T. McGrath
  • Hon. Robert Eric Reibach
  • Hon. J. Bruce Strickland

 Essex Case Results

Related Links

Should I Take My Vehicle To Have The Speedometer Calibrated?Improper DrivingWill Requesting A Continuance Have An Impact On My Case?How do I get my driving record?; I missed my court date. Can anything still be done?Sussex, Virginia Speeding Lawyer;  Should I Take An 8-Hour or 12-Hour Defensive Driving Course?Will Community Service Help My Traffic Case?Out of State Drivers; How many points is Reckless Driving in Virginia?