Reckless driving in the Commonwealth of Virginia is a very serious offense which if convicted, could entail a series of harsh fines, potential jail time, and the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Reckless driving is characterized as the willingly neglectful operation of a motor vehicle and a person can be charged with reckless driving for a variety of actions. If you are observed by a police officer driving over 80 MPH, or 20 MPH over the maximum speed limit (for example, driving 45 MPH in a 25 MPH zone) you could be charged with reckless driving.
Examples of Reckless Driving
Additionally, reckless driving can also be charged in more specific instances. Passing a school bus while children are boarding or exiting the bus is one instance where reckless driving applies. Also, passing an emergency vehicle responding to a call with active lights and sirens is considered reckless driving. Being caught racing is also considered reckless driving. If you or someone you know is facing a charge of reckless driving in the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is always best to consult with a qualified and experienced legal professional with a record of successfully managing reckless driving cases in order to avoid the potentially debilitating consequences of a conviction.
Being Charged with Reckless Driving
Virginia statute defines reckless driving as both willful unsafe driving, or neglectful driving, that puts the lives and property of those around you at risk. As previously stated, this most often applies in instances where a driver is caught traveling at excessive speeds, over 80 MPH, or 20 MPH over any posted speed limit. The highest posted speed limit in the Commonwealth of Virginia is 70 MPH. In cases where a driver is caught traveling over 90 MPH, jail time could be a likely outcome if they receive a conviction for reckless driving.
Reckless driving charges also apply in cases where an operator’s neglect has made their vehicle unsafe. This would apply in such cases where a car has inoperable brakes, or is overloaded with cargo to the point where the driver is unable to effectively see the road and cars around them.
Penalties for a Reckless Driving Conviction
The fines and penalties associated with a reckless driving conviction vary depending on the specific circumstances related to the charge in question. In many cases, a court will not impose the harshest fines possible unless the individual being charged has a history of reckless driving, driving while intoxicated, unsafe history while operating a motor vehicle, or if the individual charged has committed a particularly egregious offense. A skilled attorney may be able to have fines and penalties associated with a reckless driving conviction reduced, however if full penalties are levied against the defendant they can expect the following:
- Fines of up to $2,500.
- 6 points on your license.
- For Commonwealth of Virginia residents: 6 month license suspension.
- For out-of-state residents: driving suspension in Virginia for 6 months.
Accompanying these penalties as a result of a conviction for reckless driving, will also incur higher insurance rates, and potentially negative effects on your ability to secure employment while barred from operating a motor vehicle. For out-of-state residents, a reckless driving conviction in the Commonwealth of Virginia may also lead to the suspension of your driver’s license in your home state.
Always Work With A Legal Professional
If you or someone you know is facing a reckless driving charge in the Commonwealth of Virginia, or you are searching for a reputable Fairfax traffic defense lawyer, contact The Law Office of Wilfred Ward Yeargan immediately. Receiving a reckless driving conviction will stay on your driving record for years to come, damaging you financially and impacting your daily life.
Don’t risk facing the maximum penalties for reckless driving, consult with a skilled traffic attorney to find out possible strategies to have your charges reduced or potentially dropped altogether. Contact The Law Office of Wilfred Ward Yeargan today for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case today.