Reckless Driving FAQs
What is reckless driving?
In Loudoun County and throughout the State of Virginia, reckless driving is defined as knowingly or intentionally driving in a manner that is considered to endanger the life, limb or property of any person. A Virginia reckless driving ticket may be issued for any of the numerous behaviors specified as reckless in the state traffic code:
- Driving a vehicle that is not under full control (usually due to faulty brakes)
- Passing another vehicle without having a clear view of oncoming traffic and/or while on a curve or at the crest of a grade
- Driving a vehicle with an impaired view or without full access to controls (usually due to overloaded cargo)
- Passing two vehicles abreast on a road with two or fewer lanes
- Driving two abreast on a single lane road
- Passing at a railroad grade crossing
- Passing a school bus that is stopped
- Failing to use necessary signals
- Driving 20 miles per hour over the speed limit or more than 80 miles per hour
- Driving at a speed determined to be too fast for highway and traffic conditions
- Failing to properly yield right of way
- Reckless driving in a parking lot
- Racing on any highway, road or public property:
- Causing injury or death to another while racing
- Aiding or abetting racers
- Seizing a vehicle for the purpose of racing
- Failing to follow posted speed limits and other signs in a work zone
In addition to these specific behaviors, a law official can cite general reckless driving on a Virginia reckless driving ticket. This means that officers have the right to deem reckless any behaviors that they believe endanger the life, limb, or property of others.
What fines will I have to pay if I receive a reckless driving ticket in Virginia?
Reckless driving fines depend largely on the circumstances of a particular charge. As a Class 1 misdemeanor, a reckless driving conviction can be punished with a fine up to $2,500, depending on the severity of the offense. An experienced Leesburg lawyer at Simms Showers, who has handled hundreds of reckless driving offenses, can help you predict the fines you might face for reckless driving.
What other Virginia reckless driving penalties do I face besides fines?
Aside from fines, individuals charged with reckless driving face additional consequences. Those convicted of reckless driving in Virginia may be required to serve a maximum of one year in jail, and/or have their licenses suspended for a maximum of six months.
How do I defend myself against reckless driving charges?
Because it is a criminal offense, reckless driving must be proven beyond any reasonable doubt. Numerous possible defenses may help you avoid a conviction and reckless driving penalties. These involve scrutinizing the details of your charge, such as the observations of the officer who issued the ticket, the calibration records of the speed-measuring device the officer used, the calibration and accuracy of your own speedometer and any existing general evidence.
Do I need a lawyer?
Although the law allows you to represent yourself in a reckless driving case, obtaining an experienced attorney greatly increases your chances of a favorable outcome. Lawyers are familiar with the process of fighting reckless driving charges and know how to defend you effectively.
Contact Caleb A. Kershner at Simms Showers LLP today
Mr. Kershner offers a FREE PHONE CONSULTATION for reckless driving and other criminal cases. Contact Simms Showers LLP for quality legal counsel.
Simms Showers LLP represents clients throughout Northern Virginia, including Leesburg, Sterling and the surrounding areas of Loudoun County as well as Arlington County, Clarke County, Frederick County, Fairfax County and Prince William County.