Reckless driving is a serious misdemeanor crime in Virginia that is aggressively enforced by the police. An international student charged with this offense has unique worries and potential negative consequences on his life that other people do not face. However, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help an international student build an effective defense to reckless driving charges.
International Students Face Special Concerns
The penalties when convicted of reckless driving are harsh in Virginia and include a jail sentence of up to 12 months, a fine not to exceed $2,500, driver’s license suspension for up to six months, and six points on the person’s driving record. However, being arrested for reckless driving can have other long-term consequences if you are an international student because you must comply with certain conditions of your student visa to remain in the United States. Here are some potential problems you may have:
- You may not be able to leave the United States until your case is resolved. This could affect any plans you have to visit your family or friends in another country.
- You could have problems returning to the United States if you leave because your arrest is entered into a National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database. As a result, you could miss classes or need to delay your graduation plans.
- Some schools have rules requiring expulsion when students are charged or convicted of certain criminal offenses. If you are charged with other crimes along with reckless driving, you may be in violation of your college’s rules and be expelled. Because you would no longer be a student, you would not be eligible to remain in the country under your student visa.
- If you want to work in the United States after you graduate, a reckless driving conviction could prevent you from obtaining certain jobs.
Contact an Attorney After Being Charged With Reckless Driving
You need to contact an experienced reckless driving attorney as soon as possible if you have been charged with reckless driving in Virginia and are an international student. A skilled lawyer can help you build a strong defense to the charges you face, so they might be dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense through a plea bargain. It is important to remember that you may be able to achieve a favorable resolution of your criminal case even if you are guilty of this crime.
Attorney Charles V. Hardenbergh has years of experience aggressively fighting for the rights of people charged with reckless driving and offers a free initial consultation. To schedule your appointment, contact our Petersburg office today.