Reckless Driving Has Far Reaching Consequences

May 5, 2014

Under Virginia law, reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor, not just a speeding ticket.  The potential penalties include jail time, suspension of your driver’s license, a fine of $2,500 and six demerit points on your driver’s license.

It’s easier to be charged with reckless driving than you think.  The Virginia legislature has made several types of driving behavior “reckless” under the Virginia Code.  Two of the most common citations for reckless driving are: (1) driving in a manner generally endangering others under Virginia Code 46.2-852, and (2) exceeding the speed limit under Virginia Code 46.2-862.

The first section (Section 46.2-852) for driving in a manner endangering others, is so broad that officers can apply it to almost any circumstance.  The second section (Section 46.2-862) makes your driving reckless if you are driving over 80 miles per hour.  Period. The limit of 80 miles per hour surprises drivers because on many stretches of highway the posted speed limit is 70 miles per hour.  So you can get a reckless driving criminal misdemeanor charge for going 11 miles over the speed limit.

A bill to amend the 80 miles per hour language was introduced in the 2013 session, but died in committee.

If you are traveling 81 mph on a highway in Virginia, you could face far reaching consequences, besides the ones recited in the statutes:

Beware when driving in Virginia.  You could easily face a reckless driving charge.


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