Virginia authorities expect those who take to the state’s public roads to follow the traffic laws. Minor offenses may lead to a traffic citation and a fine. Sometimes, the moving violation presents such a danger that criminal charges and subsequent penalties may result. Drivers pulled over and charged with reckless driving might even face prison time.
Reckless driving in Virginia
Statutes vary from state to state, and the Code of Virginia spells out the penalties for reckless driving in Old Dominion. Residents and visitors to Virginia may not realize that reckless driving could involve many different moving violations. The Virginia DMV lists speeding greater than 85 mph or 20 mph above the posted speed limit, passing a school bus or emergency vehicle, driving with faulty brakes or an obstructed view, racing, and various other offenses as actions that may lead to a reckless driving charge.
The charges would not be infractions. Reckless driving charges may be misdemeanors or felonies in Virginia.
Penalties for reckless driving charges in Virginia
Reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor and could rise to a Class 6 felony. Felony charges become possible when the driver operates a vehicle with a suspended or revoked license, or the reckless driving incident resulted in someone’s death.
Class 1 misdemeanors come with a penalty of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. A class 6 felony could yield not less than one year nor more than five years, but a jury or court trial has the discretion to send the guilty to jail for no more than 12 months and/or levy a fine up to $2,500. When reckless driving ties back to the Code of Virginia 46.2-818.2, use of handheld personal communications devices, the minimum fine is $250.
Under Virginia criminal law, reckless driving could lead to jail time and/or a fine. Those accused of reckless driving might need to consult with a defense attorney.