What is Virginia's Reckless Driving speeding law?
Virginia's Reckless Driving speeding law is found in Virginia Code § 46.2-862, which states: "A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of 20 miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of 80 miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit."
Is a Reckless Driving charge a speeding ticket?
No. In Virginia, a reckless driving conviction is not merely a traffic infraction but a criminal offense. It is a class 1 misdemeanor, the most serious class of misdemeanors in Virginia.
What are the penalties for a Reckless Driving conviction in Virginia?
As a class 1 misdemeanor, the maximum penalties for Reckless Driving in Virginia include one year in jail, a $2,500 fine, and a six-month suspension of your driver's license. In addition, a Reckless Driving conviction will result in six demerit points on your Virginia driver's license, and the conviction stays on your Virginia DMV record for 11 years. Furthermore, if you are charged with driving at a speed of 90 mph or above, you may receive two days in jail for every mph over 90 that you were driving. If you exceed a speed of 100 mph, then you may get as much as 30 days in jail added to the previous total.
Will a Reckless Driving conviction appear on my record?
Yes. In Virginia, Reckless Driving is considered a serious criminal offense, and a conviction will leave you with a permanent criminal record. In addition, some other states have reciprocity agreements with Virginia. This means a Virginia Reckless Driving conviction may appear on your driving record even if you live in a different state. You may have to explain that misdemeanor conviction at inconvenient times throughout your life, such as when applying for a job.
Should I consult an attorney if I have been charged with Reckless Driving in Virginia?
Yes. There are many other factors that determine a Reckless Driving charge. In addition judges can use their discretion to reduce a Reckless Driving charge to "improper driving." Improper driving in Virginia is a mere traffic infraction with a fine of no more than $500. Improper driving only carries three DMV points, and it is removed from your record after three years. You should consult an attorney who is experienced at defending persons charged with Reckless Driving in Virginia. The experienced attorneys at Portner & Shure can help you assess your options and determine what outcomes are likely. They will fight tirelessly for your case with the goal of a complete dismissal of the charge or a finding of "not guilty."