What is reckless driving in Virginia and what are the penalties?
May 4, 2020 by GKwriter
Reckless driving is a serious offense in Virginia, punishable with up to a year in jail and $2,500 in fines. If you’re facing reckless driving charges, find a reputable Virginia traffic infractions attorney to represent you.
Virginia Code 46.2-862 outlines reckless driving and classifies it as a class 1 misdemeanor. Repeat offenders can face even more serious penalties. Plus, depending on the reckless driving offense, law enforcement could suspend your license or extend your current license suspension. That will put stress on your daily life that you should avoid.
Reckless driving offenses in Virginia
Many different offenses could land you with a Virginia reckless driving charge. Many of the offenses include six points against your license. Once you accrue 12 points in 12 months or 18 points in 24 months, law enforcement will place you on probation.
Here’s a look at each of the major traffic infractions considered reckless driving in Virginia.
- Excessive speeding: Excessive speeding is classified as 20 MPH or more over the posted speed limit. At this speed, law enforcement sees you as a hazard to the roadways and other motorists.
- Driving at any speed over 80 miles per hour: No matter what the city posts as the speed limit, if you drive more than 80 MPH, law enforcement can charge you with reckless driving.
- Failure to signal: Using turn signals helps other motorists understand what you’re doing and avoid collisions. When you fail to signal, you put yourself and other motorists at risk making it a very dangerous driving habit.
- Not yielding to an emergency vehicle: Emergency vehicles need a clear pathway to reach people quickly. When motorists don’t give emergency vehicles space, it can delay response times. Failing to yield to an emergency vehicle that’s along the roadside could also cause a collision or harm the emergency personnel or the individuals they are helping.
- Poor maintenance that leaves your car with faulty breaks: It is your responsibility to maintain your vehicle. If you fail to maintain your vehicle, the courts could serve you with serious consequences. This is especially true if you don’t maintain your breaks.
- Aggressive driving: This offense can be classified in a variety of ways and may include weaving in and out of traffic. When you’re behind the wheel of a car, be kind and courteous to other drivers to avoid facing aggressive driving charges.
- Attempting to pass a stopped school bus: When a school bus is stopped, it means that children are boarding or disembarking. Failing to yield to stopped school buses is a serious offense because you put children’s lives at risk.
- Passing another vehicle on a curve: Visibility is limited when you pass on a curve, which makes it reckless driving.
- Any kind of racing: Municipalities strictly prohibit street racing and drag racing. When you engage in racing on the roadways, you put competition before safety.
- Trying to elude the police: If you see police lights in your rearview, you should pull over. Continuing to drive away or failing to show signs of finding a safe place to pull over could leave you with reckless driving charges.
- Auto accidents: Some auto accidents show clear signs of reckless driving. While some auto accidents are truly just common mistakes on the roadways, others show a disregard for the safety of other motorists. The latter could land you with reckless driving charges.
Virginia traffic infractions attorney
Even if you aren’t at risk of losing your license, you should defend yourself against traffic infractions because they can affect your insurance. The more traffic infractions that you have on your license, the riskier an auto insurer will see you as and the higher your rates will be.
The best way to defend yourself from traffic infractions is to hire a Virginia traffic infractions attorney. Your attorney will build your defense and present evidence.
In many cases, traffic infraction attorneys can at least lessen the charges against you and protect your driving record. Many options are available for pleading down your charges, including only paying fines with no points on your license, decreasing the severity of the charges and having the charges dropped entirely.
Gore & Kuperman features a team of attorneys who are experienced at helping Virginia residents avoid conviction for traffic infractions. Contact us for a free consultation where we review your case details and offer you our thoughts. We work with you to create a payment plan that meets your needs. And we meet with you how and when it works best for you. You’ll find our law office to be very flexible and easy to work with.