Class I Misdemeanor
When you are alleged to have committed a class I misdemeanor crime in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you are a defendant alleged to have committed a crime. If convicted, you will have a permanent addition to your criminal record. With serious traffic offenses, this can often be a person's first contact of any kind with alleged criminal court. Being convicted of a crime can lead to issues with security clearances and work opportunities. It must be taken very seriously.
Any serious attention to a reckless driving or driving under the influence charge should involve a good local attorney. A good local attorney will have experience in local courts, knowledge of the judges and officers infers relationships with the officers and prosecutors, which, while not a guarantee for a perfect outcome, provides the defendant with their best opportunity for the best outcome for their situation. Anyone going into court, as with any complex situation in life, should be fully informed and understand the process that they are in the middle of, before entering the courtroom. If you've not done your homework or you are not walking in the court with an experienced professional, you might as well walk in the courtroom with a blindfold and ear muffs. You'll get no worse in the court is prepared to give you; however, you will never know how much you left on the table, what you may have been able to take advantage of, due to your particular fact situation or officer, to maximize your best result.
In Virginia, class I misdemeanor crime will generally be brought in the general district court; although, in some instances, it will be appropriate to charge some defendants by direct indictment in the Circuit Court. Almost all traffic offenses start at the general district court level. If found guilty of a class I misdemeanor, it is fair for the court to consider your entire, permanent driving record and\or criminal record, depending on your particular circumstances. After considering your personal circumstances, the court may punish you by sentencing a defendant to up to 12 months in jail and\or up to a $2500 fine, plus court costs. In addition, certainly, the court has authority to suspend a convicted driver’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle in Virginia for 12 months, as well.