What does being charged with Reckless Driving in Virginia means for your freedom and driving privileges?
Virginia criminal code has several variations of the reckless driving offense but the most common one is being charged with “reckless driving speeding” when speeding 20 miles per hour over the speed limit and/or driving above 80 miles per hour anywhere in Virginia (VA Code Section 46.2-862). The 2nd most common variation of the reckless driving offense in Virginia is “reckless driving generally.” Under this charge it is not the speed that is the defining factor but it is the general manner of your driving that endangered the safety of people and property (VA Code Section 46.2-852).
What is the penalty for reckless driving and can you go to jail?
Contrary to popular misconceptions, a misdemeanor criminal conviction for reckless driving can land you in jail depending upon the circumstances surrounding the offense. A reckless driving offense in Virginia can is treated as a Class 1 misdemeanor and is punishable by (1) up to 12 months in jail, (2) a fine of up to $2,400, (3) or both. These charges are generally head in to General Districts of the applicable cities and counties – Fairfax County, City of Arlington, City of Alexandria, Prince William County…
How can an experienced Virginia traffic lawyer help in your case?
– Have the charges dismissed.
Depending upon the circumstances and your specific facts having an experienced Virginia traffic law attorney ensures that the available defenses and mitigating circumstances are not overlooked and are argued in your favor to have the charge dismissed.
– Have the charges against you reduced or jail time waived.
Depending up your good driving record, general good standing in the community an experienced attorney, through effective negotiation and plea bargaining can have the jail time and license suspension time suspended and have the charge reduced to a lower offense of speeding or improper driving in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William County General District Court for your case.
“The different types of Reckless Driving charge in Virginia…
Section 46.2-852. Reckless driving; general rule. Irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving.
46.2-853. Driving vehicle which is not under control; faulty brakes.A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a vehicle which is not under proper control or which has inadequate or improperly adjusted brakes on any highway in the Commonwealth.
46.2-854. Passing on or at the crest of a grade or on a curve.A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who, while driving a vehicle, overtakes and passes another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, on or approaching the crest of a grade or on or approaching a curve in the highway, where the driver’s view along the highway is obstructed, except where the overtaking vehicle is being operated on a highway having two or more designated lanes of roadway for each direction of travel or on a designated one-way roadway or highway.
46.2-855. Driving with driver’s view obstructed or control impaired.A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a vehicle when it is so loaded, or when there are in the front seat such number of persons, as to obstruct the view of the driver to the front or sides of the vehicle or to interfere with the driver’s control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle.
46.2-856. Passing two vehicles abreast. A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who passes or attempts to pass two other vehicles abreast, moving in the same direction, except on highways having separate roadways of three or more lanes for each direction of travel, or on designated one-way streets or highways. This section shall not apply, however, to a motor vehicle passing two other vehicles when one or both of such other vehicles is a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped; nor shall this section apply to a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped passing two other vehicles.
46.2-857. Driving two abreast in a single lane. A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives any motor vehicle so as to be abreast of another vehicle in a lane designed for one vehicle, or drives any motor vehicle so as to travel abreast of any other vehicle traveling in a lane designed for one vehicle. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit two two-wheeled motorcycles from traveling abreast while traveling in a lane designated for one vehicle. In addition, this section shall not apply to (i) any validly authorized parade, motorcade, or motorcycle escort; (ii) a motor vehicle traveling in the same lane of traffic as a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped; nor shall it apply to (iii) any vehicle when lawfully overtaking and passing one or more vehicles traveling in the same direction in a separate lane.
46.2-858. Passing at a railroad grade crossing. A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who overtakes or passes any other vehicle proceeding in the same direction at any railroad grade crossing or at any intersection of highways unless such vehicles are being operated on a highway having two or more designated lanes of roadway for each direction of travel or unless such intersection is designated and marked as a passing zone or on a designated one-way street or highway, or while pedestrians are passing or about to pass in front of either of such vehicles, unless permitted so to do by a traffic light or law-enforcement officer.
46.2-859. Passing a stopped school bus; prima facie evidence. A person driving a motor vehicle shall stop such vehicle when approaching, from any direction, any school bus which is stopped on any highway, private road or school driveway for the purpose of taking on or discharging children, the elderly, or mentally or physically handicapped persons, and shall remain stopped until all the persons are clear of the highway, private road or school driveway and the bus is put in motion; any person violating the foregoing is guilty of reckless driving. The driver of a vehicle, however, need not stop when approaching a school bus if the school bus is stopped on the other roadway of a divided highway, on an access road, or on a driveway when the other roadway, access road, or driveway is separated from the roadway on which he is driving by a physical barrier or an unpaved area. The driver of a vehicle also need not stop when approaching a school bus which is loading or discharging passengers from or onto property immediately adjacent to a school if the driver is directed by a law-enforcement officer or other duly authorized uniformed school crossing guard to pass the school bus. This section shall apply to school buses which are equipped with warning devices prescribed in 46.2-1090 and are painted yellow with the words “School Bus” in black letters at least eight inches high on the front and rear thereof. Only school buses which are painted yellow and equipped with the required lettering and warning devices shall be identified as school buses.
The testimony of the school bus driver, the supervisor of school buses or a law-enforcement officer that the vehicle was yellow, conspicuously marked as a school bus, and equipped with warning devices as prescribed in 46.2-1090 is prima facie evidence that the vehicle is a school bus.
46.2-860. Failing to give proper signals. A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who fails to give adequate and timely signals of intention to turn, partly turn, slow down, or stop, as required by Article 6 (46.2-848 et seq.) of this chapter.
46.2-861. Driving too fast for highway and traffic conditions. A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who exceeds a reasonable speed under the circumstances and traffic conditions existing at the time, regardless of any posted speed limit.
46.2-862. Exceeding speed limit.A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.
6.2-863. Failure to yield right-of-way. A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who fails to bring his vehicle to a stop immediately before entering a highway from a side road when there is traffic approaching on such highway within 500 feet of such point of entrance, unless (i) a “Yield Right-of-Way” sign is posted or (ii) where such sign is posted, fails, upon entering such highway, to yield the right-of-way to the driver of a vehicle approaching on such highway from either direction.
46.2-864. Reckless driving on parking lots, etc. A person is guilty of reckless driving who operates any motor vehicle at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person: 1. On any driveway or premises of a church, school, recreational facility, or business or governmental property open to the public; or 2. On the premises of any industrial establishment providing parking space for customers, patrons, or employees; or 3. On any highway under construction or not yet open to the public.
46.2-865. Racing; penalty. Any person who engages in a race between two or more motor vehicles on the highways in the Commonwealth or on any driveway or premises of a church, school, recreational facility, or business property open to the public in the Commonwealth shall be guilty of reckless driving, unless authorized by the owner of the property or his agent. When any person is convicted of reckless driving under this section, in addition to any other penalties provided by law the driver’s license of such person shall be suspended by the court for a period of not less than six months nor more than two years. In case of conviction the court shall order the surrender of the license to the court where it shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of 46.2-398.