Virginia drivers who have never had any previous problems with the law are often surprised to find themselves in court on a reckless driving charge. That’s because Virginia has one of the harshest reckless driving laws in the country. In the Commonwealth, a driver can be charged with reckless driving if he or she drives at a speed over 80 miles per hour, or exceeds the posted speed limit by 20 miles per hour or more. In addition, a Virginia driver can be charged with reckless driving if he or she is driving in a way that police determine may endanger the life, limb, or property of any person, regardless of speed.
What is often more surprising to Virginia drivers, is that reckless driving is not simply a traffic infraction, but is a Class 1 misdemeanor criminal charge. That means that if you are convicted of reckless driving in Virginia, you will have a criminal record. Moreover, the maximum penalty one can receive in Virginia if convicted of reckless driving is up to 12 months in jail or a fine of up to $2500, or both. In addition, if convicted of reckless driving, a judge may suspend your driver’s license for up to six months. Finally, a reckless driving conviction will cause the Department of Motor Vehicles to impose a six-point penalty on your license, which will likely lead to an increased insurance premium and could lead to an automatic license suspension.
Because of the seriousness of a reckless driving charge in Virginia, drivers charged with reckless driving should speak with a lawyer who has experience defending Virginia traffic offenses. A lawyer can advise you of any defenses you may have to the charge, and help you to avoid having a reckless driving conviction on your record. Call JPMLegal for a free consultation.