Reckless driving is a serious criminal offense in Virginia. What you say to the police when you are pulled over for reckless driving can directly impact your defenses and the outcome of your criminal case. Here are five tips on what to say to the police when they stop you.
What to Say to the Police Officer Who Pulls You Over for Reckless Driving
In Virginia, reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If you are convicted, you face harsh penalties and will be left with a permanent criminal record. You can protect your rights and help an experienced reckless driving lawyer mount a strong defense for you if you follow these tips:
- Cooperate. You should remain polite and provide the officer with your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. If you are argumentative or uncooperative, you could be charged with even more serious offenses and could endanger yourself.
- Remain silent. Except for providing the basic information listed above, you have a constitutional right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself. Politely tell the police that you are exercising your right and refrain from making any statements. They could be used against you in court.
- Sign the ticket. In Virginia, you will receive a summons to appear in court that looks like a traffic ticket when you are stopped and charged with reckless driving. You need to sign the reckless driving summons. You are not pleading guilty by signing it.
- Don’t answer questions. The police will most likely ask you questions like “Do you know why you are being pulled over?” or “Do you know how fast you were driving?” They are asking these questions to try to get you to admit to reckless driving. Politely refuse to answer these and any other questions.
- Hire a lawyer. You need to retain a reckless driving attorney as soon as possible after you are charged with this crime. They will explain what to expect in your criminal case and develop a strong defense strategy that could result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense through a plea bargain.
Were you charged with reckless driving in Virginia? Call our Manassas office or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with our skilled reckless driving lawyers to learn how we will aggressively defend you.