For residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia, facing a reckless driving charge is extremely serious and can carry a wide-range of penalties, if convicted. Reckless driving charges are classified as criminal offenses in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and can be treated as anything from a Class 1 misdemeanor, to a Class 6 felony depending on the severity of the violation.
Although some individuals who are charged with reckless driving as a Class 1 misdemeanor may view the charge as similar to a regular traffic violation, they should make no mistake that this remains a serious charge. Those charged with reckless driving as a Class 6 felony face the highest penalties, with a potential to be sentenced to multiple years in jail, thousands of dollars in fines, loss of driving privileges, and confiscation of their vehicle.
It is never advisable to face a reckless driving charge in court without appropriate legal counsel. A qualified attorney may be able to have your reckless driving charge reduced, or even dropped depending on the circumstances and evidence supporting the prosecution’s claims. Below we will take a closer look at the penalties associated with misdemeanor and felony reckless driving charges.
Misdemeanor Reckless Driving Penalties in Virginia
Class 1 misdemeanors are the most serious type of misdemeanors, and are the most common type for a reckless driving charge. A Class 1 misdemeanor is also the category of infraction that DUI and DWI charges most often fall under. Class 1 misdemeanor for reckless driving can carry a maximum jail sentence of up to one year, and fines of up to $2,500. In the most severe cases, those convicted can face prolonged jail time sentences, especially in cases where multiple infractions or repeat offenses have occurred.
Felony Reckless Driving Penalties in Virginia
Serious reckless driving charges will result if charged with a Class 6 felony, the least severe type of felony classification. Class 6 felonies are punishable with one to five years in prison, and up to a $2,500 fine depending on the severity of the offense. These penalties can be applied to different scenarios, with the worst-case scenario being a five year prison sentence coupled with a $2,500 fine.
Felony reckless driving is most often charged in cases where the reckless actions resulted in the death of a person, reckless driving with a suspended or revoked license, and in cases where racing is suspected. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, being caught racing carries an additional level of punishment, especially if the racing resulted in a death. Drivers convicted in this situation could face up to 20 years in prison.
Effect on Your Driver’s License
If you are convicted of reckless driving in the Commonwealth of Virginia, 6 demerit points will automatically be applied to your license, which can raise your insurance rates significantly. Additionally, if you receive 12 demerit point on your license within one year you will be required by the state to take a Virginia Driver Education and Safety Course, and to pass a driving exam. If you fail to complete this course and pass the exam within the specified time frame, your license will most likely be suspended.
Contact the Law Office of Wilfred Ward Yeargan Today
If you are facing a reckless driving charge in the Commonwealth of Virginia and are seeking a traffic attorney in Fairfax, VA – contact Wilfred Ward Yeargan today. An experienced traffic attorney may be able to get your charges and the associated penalties reduced to a lesser charge such as improper driving, or failure to obey a traffic sign. Don’t risk losing your license, paying expensive fines, and possible jail time for your past mistakes. Contact The Law Office of Wilfred Ward Yeargan for a review of your case today.