Reckless Driving

Reckless Driving

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, Reckless Driving is considered a serious charge. Broadly speaking, reckless driving is defined as any person who drives a vehicle in a manner or speed that endangers the lives or property of others. See 46.2-862. As we will discuss, reckless driving charges can stem from a multitude of traffic offenses. If you are charged with reckless driving in Virginia, it is in your best interest to consult with a reckless driving attorney. We represent individuals for reckless driving in Fairfax County, Prince William County, Loudoun County, Fauquier County, and Arlington County. We offer free phone AND live in person consultations with an actual criminal defense attorney.

Reckless Driving By Speed

Quite often, many of our clients are charged with reckless driving by speed. Speeding in excess of 80 MPH constitutes reckless driving in Virginia. Additionally, it is also considered reckless driving to exceed the speed limit by 20 or more miles per hour. Here goes the applicable statute:

46.2-862. Exceeding speed limit.

A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.

Because driving in excess of 80 MPH constitutes reckless driving, one can be charged with reckless driving for operating a vehicle merely 11 MPH above the speed limit! For example, if the speed limit is 70 MPH (as it is on many Virginia state highways), an individual driving at a speed of 81 miles-per-hour can be charged with reckless driving.

Other Variations of Reckless Driving
  • Improper Control or Driving with Faulty Brakes (See 18.2-853)
  • Passing When View Is Obstructed (See 18.2-854)
  • Car Overloaded (See 18.2-855)
  • Two Vehicles Driving in One Lane (See 18.2-856)
  • Passing a Stopped School Bus (See 18.2-859)
  • Failing to Give Proper Signals (See 18.2-860)
  • Driving Too Fast for Traffic Conditions (See 18.2-861)
  • Racing (See 18.2-865)
  • Not Yielding to Stationary Emergency Vehicles (See 18.2-921)

Penalties for Reckless Driving

Unlike ordinary traffic infractions, reckless driving is a very serious charge in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Similar to DUI and driving on suspended charges, reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The penalties for reckless driving can include:

  • A maximum of one year in jail or up to a $2,500 fine.
  • Six demerit points on your Virginia driving license.
  • A license suspension for up to 6 months.
  • A criminal misdemeanor conviction on your record for 11 years.

Additionally, there is a good chance that your insurance premium will increase. Further, a misdemeanor conviction can affect your ability to obtain or renew government clearances.