How Bad Is a Reckless Driving Ticket?

Reckless driving is a serious charge in Virginia. The offense crosses the boundary between a basic traffic infraction and a criminal charge. Knowing this, you may wonder, Just how bad is a reckless driving ticket? Some reckless driving tickets end up with less severe penalties than others. However, a reckless driving charge is always a bad thing to have on your record. For this reason, you should always take a reckless driving ticket seriously and fight against the charge.

What Does Virginia Consider Reckless Driving?

Most commonly, the State of Virginia considers excessive speeding as a primary form of reckless driving. For example, driving more than 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit is reckless driving. Alternatively, driving more than 85 miles per hour, regardless of the speed limit, is reckless driving.

However, excessive speeding is not the only action that the State of Virginia considers to be reckless driving.

According to theVirginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the following offenses can all fall within the definition of reckless driving in some circumstances:

  • Racing,
  • Passing an emergency vehicle,
  • Passing a school bus,
  • Passing on the crest of a hill,
  • Passing at a railroad crossing,
  • Passing two vehicles abreast,
  • Driving with an obstructed view,
  • Driving two vehicles in a single lane,
  • Driving too fast for conditions,
  • Improper control of a vehicle,
  • Failure to properly signal, and
  • Driving recklessly in a parking lot.

As you can see, there are numerous traffic offenses that Virginia may consider reckless driving. You might also notice that many of these violations are inherently subjective. For example, failure to signal is, more often than not, a lesser traffic violation. However, sometimes it falls under the umbrella of reckless driving. Given the harsh penalties of a reckless driving charge, it is well worth your time to fight such a subjective infraction.

What Are the Penalties for Reckless Driving?

The penalties for reckless driving in Virginia depend on the specific facts and circumstances of each case. Virginia considers most reckless driving charges to be Class 1 misdemeanors. However, reckless driving charges can compound to the felony level. Penalties for Class 1 misdemeanors include fines up to $2,500, incarceration of up to 12 months, and a license suspension of up to 6 months. Reckless driving also carries a mark of 6 DMV points on your driving record. The charge will stay on your driving record for 11 years. Drivers should not take these penalties lightly.

What Other Effects Can a Reckless Driving Charge Have?

License suspension alone can seriously impede your ability to maintain your day-to-day life. You may be unable to commute to work, pick up your kids from school, or even get to the grocery store easily. These consequences represent a significant burden that is best avoided at all costs. The DMV points added to your driving record will most likely impact your insurance rates, which will affect your bottom line financially. Add to all of this the risk of imprisonment and the ripple effects that that jail time brings, and you can see just how bad a reckless driving ticket can be. This is why you should always fight a reckless driving charge.

Are You Facing a Reckless Driving Ticket?

If you are facing a reckless driving charge,contact meat Andrew Flusche, Attorney at Law, PLC, for legal help as soon as possible. Fighting reckless driving charges is one of my primary focus areas. Because I regularly defend against reckless driving charges, I know what to expect and prepare for in the courtroom. With that in mind, you can rest assured that there will not be any nasty surprises. My goal is to help my clients protect their future, so let me help protect yours—contact metoday for a free consultation.

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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