Aggressively Defending Reckless Driving Passing a Stopped School Bus Charges in Fairfax, Spotsylvania, and Stafford Counties
What is Reckless Driving Passing a Stopped School Bus?
As one of the ten most common forms of reckless driving, a reckless driving approaching a stopped school bus offense involves a driver who fails to stop when approaching a school bus that is taking on or discharging passengers and fails to remain stopped until the bus has started to move again (except when the school bus is stopped on a section of the road that is separated from the lane of travel by a physical barrier or an unpaved area or if a bus is immediately adjacent to a school and the driver is directed to pass the bus), pursuant to § 46.2-859.
In Virginia, reckless driving approaching a stopped school bus offense is a major moving traffic violation and is significantly more serious than a ticket for passing a bus. A conviction of reckless driving will have a negative impact on your driving record for 11 years.
What are the Penalties if Convicted of Reckless Driving Passing a Stopped School Bus in Virginia?
If found guilty of approaching a stopped school bus, penalties can include:
- A minimum of ten (10) days to a maximum of six (6) months license suspension (a restricted license can be issued by the court during the suspension period but does not apply to a commercial license)
- Fines and court costs
- Six (6) demerit points assessed by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles against your driving record
- Dramatic insurance rate increases
- A criminal record for a class I misdemeanor, which can negatively impact employment opportunities and travel outside of the United States
Why Hire an Experienced Traffic Attorney if Charged with Reckless Driving Passing a Stopped School Bus in Virginia?
Hiring an experienced traffic attorney will give you access to a wealth of legal knowledge that can be useful in beating your charges. For example, did you know that simply pleading guilty to quickly resolve your case removes your eligibility for a criminal record expungement of the charge as you must be found not guilty or have the charges withdrawn by Commonwealth (nolle prosequi) to be able to submit a petition for an expungement?
Consequences of a conviction for a traffic violation can be significant. Your insurance coverage, reputation, security clearance, and driving privileges may be negatively affected. You may be facing a few days or more in jail or working on the Sheriff’s Work Force picking up trash alongside the road.
When convicted of a traffic violation in Virginia, the court notifies the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (VA DMV), which does the following:
- Posts the conviction to your driving record
- Assigns demerit points according to the offense which generally remain on your record for two years from date of committing the offense
- Issues an administrative order of suspension, if applicable (even if the court does not)
- Issues an order requiring the successful completion of a driver improvement clinic, if applicable
- Notifies your insurance company if it has been requested (and you had better believe that most insurance companies have requested such information)
If you have been charged with a serious traffic offense such as general reckless driving, reckless driving passing a stopped school bus, or reckless driving by speed, prompt and knowledgeable advice is critical. In defending such offenses, Ms. Fremit explores the legality of the traffic stop and vigorously cross-examines the arresting officer when a trial is involved.
Call Susan F. Fremit, P.C. at 703-666-9263 or 540-322-2594 to set up a consultation. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.