Reckless Driving

In Virginia, reckless driving is a Class 1 criminal misdemeanor, and carries an assessment of 6 points on a Virginia driving record.  Much more serious than a minor speeding ticket, a reckless driving conviction carries the possibility of a jail sentence, a fine of up to $2,500, the potential for a suspension of your driver's license, and a permanent criminal record.

Reckless driving covers a broad array of driving behaviors, and covers generally any driving behavior that endangers the life, limb, or property of any person, including yourself.  The most common type of reckless driving charge is speed-related.  In the Commonwealth of Virginia, driving more than 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit may be charged as reckless driving.  Additionally, driving more than 80 miles per hour, regardless of the posted speed limit, may be charged as reckless driving.

Speeding is just one of the many actions that can result in a reckless driving citation.  The Virginia Code also permits officers to charge the following as reckless driving:
  • Racing
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Failure to use turn signals
  • Passing a stopped school bus
  • Passing in an intersection or at a railroad crossing
  • Driving with inadequate brakes
  • Driving with an obstructed view
A reckless driving conviction can have a serious financial impact.  In addition to substantial fines assessed by the court, the effect it can have on insurance rates can be severe.  Like any misdemeanor conviction, a reckless driving conviction can have an adverse effect on employment, including security clearance.

There are many ways to defend a reckless driving charge, and an experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to guide you.  Challenging an officer’s visual estimation of speed, or the maintenance and calibration of the radar or LIDAR gun used to clock your vehicle, are just some of the many techniques we may use to defend you.  Call us at 703-272-8665 for a free consultation.

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