Reckless Driving in Virginia
Reckless driving laws
Reckless driving includes any behaviors by a driver of a motor vehicle that endanger life, limb or property of another person. Charges of reckless driving are considered major moving violations and are significantly more serious than careless or negligent driving. Virginia reckless driving laws are thorough and specify numerous behaviors, including the following:
- Excessive speeding: Any time a driver exceeds the speed limit by 20 miles per hour or drives faster than 80 miles per hour
- No control: Inability of a driver to control or stop his or her vehicle (typically due to improperly adjusted brakes)
- Passing two abreast: Passing two vehicles abreast on a road that has two or fewer lanes
- Driving two abreast: Passing another vehicle on a single lane road
- Obstructed view or control: Driving a vehicle without the ability to see in all mirrors and out the side windows and windshields, or without the ability to properly operate the vehicle (usually due to overloaded cargo or passengers)
- Poor yielding: Failing to stop at a stop sign or when entering a highway, or failing to yield at a yield right-of-way sign
- Racing: Racing one or more other vehicles in any capacity on a public highway, road, or property
- General reckless driving: As provided for in Virginia law, a police officer may cite reckless driving in any instance in which he or she believes an individual is driving in a reckless manner, or a manner that endangers the life, limb, or property of any person
Reckless driving statistics
The most recent data available from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that reckless driving accounts for a large portion of the 6 million accidents that occur annually in the United States. About 30 percent of accident fatalities occur in accidents that involve speeding and about 33 percent can be attributed to other reckless behaviors.
Penalties of reckless driving
In the State of Virginia, a conviction of reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor criminal offense. This is more severe than a parking ticket or traffic ticket. While it is the most serious type of misdemeanor, it is less serious than a felony charge. The penalties of reckless driving include various levels of the following:
- Jail time, at a maximum of 12 months
- License suspension, at a maximum of six months
- Fines to be paid, at a maximum of $2,500
Punishments vary based on the circumstances of the reckless driving charge, as well as the driving record of the offender. An experienced lawyer will be able to predict the consequences of a particular reckless driving case.
How can a Leesburg attorney help when you face reckless driving charges? Based in Loudoun County, Virginia, our reckless driving defense lawyers serve clients who have been charged with reckless driving. We have handled numerous cases and are committed to achieving the best possible outcomes.
Contact Attorney Caleb A. Kershner of Simms Showers LLP today
We offer 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.