Essex County Virginia Reckless Driving Speeding Traffic Ticket Attorney

 Essex, Virginia Reckless Driving Speeding Representation

Have you been charged with speeding or reckless driving in Essex, Virginia?  Contact Essex reckless driving attorney Trey Mattox for a free consultation, email trey@mattoxlawpc.com or phone (804) 451-6033.

Essex, Virginia Reckless Driving Lawyer

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.  Therefore, most of the reckless driving charges I see are for going 20 or more above the speed limit.  However, the speed limits drop as you go through the various towns throughout Essex.  It is very easy to miss one of those change in speed signs and find yourself going much farther over the speed limit than intended.  Some of these towns include Champlain, Hustle, Blandfield, Brays Fork, Butylo, Dunnsville, Wares, Supply, Bowler's Wharf, Tappannock, Loretto, Wares Wharf, Laneview, Caret, Dunbrooke, Millers Tavern, Center Cross, and Passing.

What is Reckless Driving Speeding in Virginia?

The most common form of reckless driving in Virginia is reckless driving speeding.  If you received a reckless driving speeding ticket in Virginia it was most likely written under this code section.

Virginia Code 46.2-862:
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.

Among the reckless driving code sections, § 46.2-862 is by far the most frequently used.  This statute strictly refers to the speed at which you are driving without any regard to your manner of driving.  This statute defines reckless driving in two ways.  The first section of this statute mandates that you can be convicted of reckless driving for traveling 20 or more miles per hour above the speed limit.  The second section defines reckless driving as driving over 80 miles per hour no matter the posted speed limit.  This section becomes particularly troublesome on highways with 70 mile per hour speed limits.  Therefore, according to the statute going as little as 11 miles per hour over the speed limit can result in a conviction for reckless driving.  

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 $2500 fine, one year in jail, 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.

What is Reckless Driving; General Rule

If you have received a Virginia reckless driving ticket and the charge was unrelated to speed it likely will fall under reckless driving; general rule.  This statute allows a police officer to charge you with reckless driving if he believes you were driving in a manner that endangers life or property.  

Virginia Code 46.2-852:
Irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving.

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 in Essex will often have additional requirements before he is willing to reduce your charge.   This 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 (804) 451-6033 or email trey@mattoxlawpc.com for additional suggestions on mitigation evidence for your Essex traffic 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.
  • 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.  It is essential to select the right shop with the correct equipment.  You will want to take your vehicle to a shop with a dynamometer or “dyno.”
  • 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.  You must also be careful you choose the correct driving school for your individual case.  Driving courses can range in length from six hours up to twelve hours.

In addition to reckless driving, Mattox Law, P.C. also handles cases involving driving on a suspended license, possession of marijuana, underage possession of alcohol, DUI, and speeding.  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

Frequently Asked Questions
 

Should I Take An 8-Hour or 12-Hour Defensive Driving Course? - Why Am I Charged With Reckless Driving If I Was Not Driving Recklessly? - What Is Defective Equipment? - Should I Take My Vehicle To Have The Speedometer Calibrated?  - Greensville, Virginia Speeding Lawyer - What is the move over law? - Will Requesting A Continuance Have An Impact On My Case?; - Sussex, Virginia Speeding Lawyer - Will Community Service Help My Traffic Case? - What is a speedometer calibration?