In Virginia, reckless driving is a serious traffic violation. If convicted of a reckless driving charge, you could be sentenced to jail time, lose your license, and suffer from severe monetary penalties. Reckless driving can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the severity of the infraction, and involves driving in a manner that endangers the life, limb, or property of another individual. Generally, reckless driving results in a felony when the driver’s actions result in a severe injury or fatality. Below we will go into more detail about the potential consequences of felony reckless driving.
What is Reckless Driving?
A reckless driving charge can stem from a variety of actions that are deemed to be unsafe as outlined by Virginia statute. Excessive speeding over 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, running a red light, or passing a stopped school bus or emergency vehicle can all result in reckless driving charges in Virginia. However, felony reckless driving is typically reserved for the most severe cases of reckless driving, in situations where the driver’s actions result in the death or serious injury of another individual.
What is Felony Reckless Driving?
In its least severe form, reckless driving will be charged as a misdemeanor and is open to the interpretation of the arresting officer. However, in the case of felony reckless driving, what can be charged is governed by Virginia Code 46.2.868 and is somewhat more specific. Below we go into more detail about two reasons that felony reckless driving may be charged, other than causing a death or serious injury.
Driving With a Suspended or Revoked License
If you are caught driving recklessly with a suspended or revoked license, the penalties you face are even harsher as the charge now becomes a Class 6 felony. A Class 6 felony is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and fines of up to $2,500. You license will have 6 demerit points added to it which stay on your record for as long as 11 years, causing your insurance rates to raise significantly. In some cases, judges also have the discretion to sentence those convicted of reckless driving with a suspended or revoked license to less than 12 months in jail, depending on the seriousness of the charges. If you were using a cell phone while caught recklessly driving, an additional $250 fine will be added to your total monetary penalties.
Racing in Virginia
Being caught racing in Virginia is an immediate cause for a reckless driving charge, and will greatly compound the penalties you face as a result of a conviction. If the race in question results in the death or serious bodily harm of another individual, it will be treated as a serious felony offense, worse than driving with a suspended or revoked license, and could land the convicted person in jail for a minimum of 1 year, but up to 20 years in prison if the actions of the accused are particularly egregious. Racing as a felony can result in the loss of driving privileges for 3 years, and 6 demerit point on your driver’s license.
Contact The Law Office of Wilfred Ward Yeargan For Legal Assistance
Reckless driving as a felony is an extremely serious offense in Virginia, and should not be taken lightly. In order to avoid potential jail time and loss of driving privileges, you will need a talented traffic attorney in your corner who can petition the court on your behalf. Contact Wilfred Ward Yeargan today if you are looking for an experienced and seasoned Fairfax traffic attorney to take on your case. Reach out by phone or online to discuss the specifics of your case.