Reckless driving law of Virginia
It is very crucial for an individual of Virginia to understand that reckless driving ticket is different from a speeding ticket in Virginia. Reckless driving is a criminal offense and the individual cannot simply get rid of the ticket by paying a specific fine. It is categorized as class 1 misdemeanor, which can even lead you to imprisonment. Hence, it is important to have an experienced Virginia reckless driving attorney to represent your case in the court.
In Virginia, multiple acts can be a cause of your reckless driving ticket. If your driving is dangerous in any manner that can endanger or injure any life of human being, it can be deemed as reckless driving. The law can charge you with a reckless driving ticket for speeding, texting while driving, not acknowledging the traffic signals or even carelessly driving while ignoring the current traffic/weather conditions. According to the Virginia Code, section 46.2-852:
“Irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving.”
The penalties for reckless driving in Virginia
In Virginia, reckless driving is categories as class 1 misdemeanor but if your reckless driving has caused any major accident, you can be charged with a felony. However, felony charges are rare and in extreme conditions. As per the law of Virginia, the penalty for reckless driving class 1 misdemeanor are:
- Hefty fines: up to $2500
- Imprisonment: for a maximum period of 12 months
- Suspension of driving license: The license of a reckless driver may be suspended for a period of 6 months
- Negative demerit points: A reckless driving ticket might display a negative from 3 – 6 demerit points in your driving transcript. This record is maintained by the department of motor vehicle in Virginia
Felony charges in Virginia:
The conditions where a judge can charge you with a felony:
- If you commit a reckless driving act, which results in a death of some innocent victim or causes him severe injuries.
- If you are caught driving with a suspended license. The penalty for a felony is much harsh than Class 1 misdemeanor.
Punishment for felony charges are:
- A fine of $2500
- Suspension of the driving license for 1 year
- Up to 5 years imprisonment
How can reckless driving ticket affect your life in a longer-run?
- Driver’s personal and professional life is disturbed
- Hiked car insurance premiums
- Increased dependency on public mode of transport, in case of suspension of license
- Long-term record of reckless driving in the driving transcript of the driver
- Loss of job in case
How does the judge determine the penalties for a reckless driving ticket?
The court of Virginia is very strict with reckless driving offenders; however, the judges acknowledge multiple other factors before deciding the final penalty. These factors include:
- The past record of the Driver mentioned in the driving transcript
- The location where the reckless driving ticket was given by the officer
The level of reckless driving offense committed by the driver, such as slightly over speeding