If a police officer pulls you over for reckless driving, it is important to understand that you are not receiving a traffic ticket. You are being charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor, and upon conviction, you could be sentenced to jail and have your driver’s license suspended. An experienced reckless driving attorney can help you build a strong defense that may result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. However, you have to be careful about what you say to the law enforcement officer who charges you to avoid making your lawyer’s job harder and your defense weaker.
What to Do When You Are Stopped for Reckless Driving
Your best strategy when you are pulled over by the police for reckless driving is to exercise your constitutional right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in your criminal case. Here’s how you can best handle the stop:
- Tell the officer politely that you are exercising your right to remain silent, and you want speak to your attorney. This is the best action you can take to protect yourself and help your lawyer raise a strong defense.
- While you have the right to remain silent, you are required to provide the officer with your driver’s license and registration when you are pulled over under Virginia law.
- When the officer gives you the reckless driving ticket and asks you to sign it, you should comply. You are not admitting to guilt by signing the ticket. You are simply promising to attend your court hearing. If you refuse to sign it, the officer can assume that you will not attend your hearing and will most likely arrest you and take you into custody.
- The police officer may ask you questions such as, “Do you know why you were pulled over?” and “How fast do you think that you were going?” in an effort to get you to admit to reckless driving. You should politely refuse to answer these and any other questions.
- You do not want to admit to improperly passing another vehicle or that you were speeding. In addition, be careful not to apologize because this may be interpreted as an admission of guilt.
Are you facing reckless driving charges? Attorney Charles V. Hardenbergh is here to aggressively fight the charges you face. To learn more about his success in these cases and your options, call our Petersburg office today to schedule your free consultation.