Reckless driving offenses and penalties can vary because states each have their own reckless driving laws. So, if you’re a motorist in Virginia, it’s important to understand what constitutes reckless driving, the risks associated with reckless driving, and the state’s laws regarding reckless driving.
Virginia has some of the harshest penalties for traffic violations in the nation. You could face jail time, a steep fine, or suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Hiring an experienced traffic offense attorney is essential if you’ve been charged with reckless driving in Virginia.
Is Reckless Driving a Criminal Offense in Virginia?
According to the reckless driving statute in Virginia, a motorist is guilty of reckless driving if, while on any Virginia highway or road, they drive:
- Recklessly, or
- At a speed that threatens the safety or lives of others or property, or
- In any other way that threatens the safety or lives of others or property
Reckless driving in Virginia can include an array of imprudent actions. Some of the reasons for which you could be charged with reckless driving include:
- Driving at least 20 mph above the maximum speed limit allowed on the road or highway
- Driving a vehicle that of which you aren’t properly in control or has malfunctioning brakes
- Driving when your view is obstructed by items or people in the car to the extent your control of the vehicle is diminished
- Overtaking and passing another vehicle while traveling on a grade or curve on a road/highway that is only one lane for each travel direction or on a road/highway that isn’t one-way
- Passing or trying to pass two other vehicles on a road/highway that has two or fewer lanes for each travel direction or on a road/highway that isn’t one-way. This law doesn’t apply when either vehicle involved is a bicycle, electric bicycle, motorcycle, electric scooter, or other electric devices
- Driving a vehicle in one lane while another vehicle is next to you in the same lane. This doesn’t apply to motorcycles
- Not giving proper and prompt signaling such as turn signal and timely braking
- Driving too fast for the present road/highway and traffic conditions, no matter what the legal speed limit is on the road/highway
- Passing a stopped school bus, whether it occurs on a road, highway, private road, or school property
- Overtaking or passing another vehicle on a railroad crossing or an intersection of highways that has only one lane for each travel direction, isn’t a one-way highway, or isn’t marked as a passing zone
Reckless Driving Penalties in Virginia
A reckless driving charge and/or conviction could be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the reason for the charge.
If you’re charged with reckless driving in Virginia, you may be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A Class 1 misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to $2,500 in fines and twelve months in jail.
If you were using a cellphone or other personal communications device while reckless driving, you may be fined up to $250.
If you were driving without a valid driver’s license because it was revoked or suspended due to a previous traffic offense and your reckless driving directly and exclusively resulted in someone’s death, you might be guilty of a Class 6 felony. A Class 6 felony carries serious penalties. You could be fined up to $2,500 and sentenced to a maximum of 5 years in prison.
Contact Bain Sheldon Attorney & Counselors at Law Today If You’ve Been Charged with Reckless Driving
Have you been charged with reckless driving in Virginia? If so, you need to hire an experienced reckless driving criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
The Virginia traffic offense lawyers at Bain Sheldon Attorneys & Counselors at Law have more than 15 years of experience helping clients fight the charges against them. We will aggressively represent your case to reach the best outcome for you. Don’t leave risks and consequences of a reckless driving charge up to chance or a novice attorney.
Trust our experienced and skilled legal team to build the strongest defense against your charge. Call our firm today at (804) 282-8625 for a free case evaluation or contact us by completing our brief online form.