Is Reckless Driving a Traffic Violation or a Moving Violation

Reckless driving is a serious driving offense for one to face. The penalties can be stiff, so it is important for anyone facing such a charge to understand the laws surrounding it. A common question I receive about reckless driving is, Is reckless driving a traffic violation, or is reckless driving a moving violation? The answer to that question is that it is both. State law generally splits driving offenses into two categories: moving violations and non-moving violations. Reckless driving is a moving violation. However, people also refer to reckless driving as a traffic violation. There is no clear delineation between the two.

Moving Violations vs. Non-Moving Violations

The distinction between moving and non-moving violations is just what you might expect. Moving violations are those that occur while a vehicle is in motion. Moving violations include speeding tickets, reckless driving, driving under the influence (DUI), turning lane violations, and driving on a suspended license. Moving violations typically have more severe consequences than non-moving violations.

On the other hand, non-moving violations occur only when a vehicle is not in motion. Parking citations are non-moving violations in Virginia and practically every other state. Alongside parking citations, defective equipment is a common non-moving violation. If someone has an otherwise clean driving record, some judges will occasionally reduce speeding charges to non-moving violations in the form of faulty equipment (speedometer) charges.

How Do the Consequences of Non-Moving and Moving Violations Differ?

As noted, moving violations generally bring more severe consequences than non-moving violations. Some non-moving violations may bring a higher fine than a low-level moving infraction, but that is an exception to the general rule.

Unlike moving violations, non-moving violations do not result in added points to your DMV driving record. After a moving violation occurs, the points stay on your DMV record for a minimum of two years from the offense date. If you have points on your driving record, your car insurance rates tend to increase. The more points on your record, the more your insurance will cost.

Virginia splits points into three tiers: 3-point, 4-point, and 6-point violations, with 6-point violations being the most severe. Reckless driving is a 6-point violation along with things like DUI and driving on a suspended license. On the other hand, 3-point violations include things like driving without lights on, improper U-turns, and improper passing.

Reckless Driving in Virginia

In Virginia, areckless driving violation occurs when a driver drives more than 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. Reckless driving also occurs when a driver drives over 85 miles per hour, regardless of the speed limit. In a 70-mile-per-hour speed limit zone, you can incur a reckless driving charge by going just 15 miles per hour over the speed limit.

The penalties for reckless driving are quite severe in Virginia. Virginia considers reckless driving a class 1 misdemeanor, making it a criminal offense. Penalties for reckless driving can be as high as a $2,500 fine, driver license revocation for 6 months, and, in extreme cases, up to 12 months imprisonment. The DMV points that come with a reckless driving charge stay on your DMV record for 11 years.

Are You Facing a Virginia Reckless Driving Charge?

Virginia authorities do not take reckless driving lightly. If you face a reckless driving charge in Virginia, it is important to take your defense equally seriously. The best way to mount a strong defense against a reckless driving charge is to hire a traffic attorney who has experience defending clients against reckless driving offenses.

AtAndrew Flusche, Attorney at Law, PLC, I focus on defending against traffic violations and have considerable experience with reckless driving cases. My practice is results oriented. I will fight to have your charge reduced or dismissed so you can preserve your freedom, maintain your license, and overcome the hardship imposed by traffic violations. My goal is to protect your rights. Don’t wait to fight the charge;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.

What's Next?

Get Free Answers

Andrew wrote the book on reckless driving. It’s the most-reviewed Virginia reckless driving resource on

Get Your Free Copy

Andrew wrote the book on DWI. It’s jam-packed full of answers for your case.

Get Your Free Copy

Our special report about driving on suspended explains six critical issues to possibly fight in your case.

Get Your Free Copy


We provide free consultations for cases in our area. If we can't help, we'll do our best to connect you with someone who can.


Contact Andrew & Fitz