What is the penalty for reckless driving in Virginia?

In Virginia, reckless driving is considered as a criminal offense, therefore, it carries harsh and hefty penalties.

Penalties for reckless driving in Virginia

Reckless driving is considered as a class 1 misdemeanor and it penalized harshly. However, the penalties for the reckless driving ticket depends on the sensitivity of the criminal offense. The common penalties for reckless driving include:

  1. Heavy fines
  2. Suspension of driving license
  3. Potential jail time
  4. Demerit points

Other disadvantages of reckless driving ticket:

  1. Dependency on public mode of transport in case of suspension of license
  2. Hiked insurance premiums due to demerit points
  3. Loss of job in case of imprisonment
  4. Permanent record of committing a criminal offense
  5. Record of demerit points and reckless driving ticket in the driving license for a maximum period of 11 years

What are reckless driving elements?

  1. General reckless driving:
    1. Virginia penalizes all the drivers, who can potentially harm any living thing or any property through their careless driving. Hence, it is considered as a major traffic violation in Virginia.
  2. Reckless driving by speeding:
    1. Speeding itself is considered as a traffic violation. In Virginia, there are two major speeding laws
      1. Absolute speeding
      2. Basic speeding

If a person is found violating these laws excessively, they are charged with a reckless driving ticket. The speeding ticket forbids the driver to drive above the speed of 80 miles per hour in any circumstance and it also restricts them from driving 20 miles per hour above the absolute speed limit.  According to the Virginia code section 46.2 – 862:

“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.”

  1. Reckless driving (aggressively):

The cases such as drunk driving, racing fiercely, drag racing or even injuring someone due to any reckless act is considered as aggressive reckless driving.

  1. Other reckless driving acts
  2. Recklessly driving with another vehicle on the similar lane
  3. Recklessly driving a vehicle with faulty breaks
  4. Recklessly driving without using the headlights of the vehicle
  5. Recklessly driving an overloaded vehicle which is blocking the view
  6. Recklessly passing a stopped school bus
  7. Recklessly passing a railroad

How does court decide the reckless driving charges?

The court considers multiple factors before penalizing any individual for any reckless driving penalties. These factors include:

  1. The level of the reckless driving offense for which the driver is charged
  2. The element for which the driver is charged with
  3. The driving transcript of the driver which displays the past record of tickets or any demerit points
  4. The location where the criminal offense took place, such as near a school or a residential place

The corrective measures of the driver, which includes the efforts of taking and passing driving education course or taking part in any community service.

Categories: Laws