[VIDEO]What is the Difference Between Reckless Driving and Improper Driving?

The big different between reckless driving and improper driving is that improper is for cases where the culpability is minimal. So what does that mean? Watch and find out. Contact me today about your VA reckless driving charge.

Video Transcription

Hello, my name is Andrew Flusche and I’m here to discuss with you the difference between reckless driving and improper driving. The big different between reckless driving and improper driving is that improper is for cases where the culpability is minimal. Let’s back up. Reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. It’s a crime, and it covers a whole bunch of different driving behaviors, such as driving too fast, passing when you shouldn’t, driving when it’s too fast for the conditions, failure to maintain control of your vehicle, passing a stopped school bus, and we could go on, there’s many types of reckless driving. One thing they all have in common is that if the judge hears the case and decides that this a case where you did something wrong but your culpability is minimal, in other words, there’s maybe an excuse of why you did it, or maybe you didn’t realize the full nature of what you were doing, or something that you didn’t have as much control over. The judge can reduce the charge to a traffic ticket for improper driving.

The big different is several. First of all, reckless driving is a crime and improper driving is just a traffic ticket similar to speeding. Also, reckless driving stays on your record for 11 years if you have a Virginia license and improper is only on for three. Finally, another big difference is the points. Reckless driving is a six point offense where as improper driving is just three points. All around, if you have a choice between reckless and improper, typically improper is going to be the way you want to go. Now that doesn’t mean that every case of reckless driving should just be reduced to improper driving. In some cases, especially some accidents, I see judges kind of using improper driving sometimes as kind of splitting the baby, not wanting to make the hard decision sometimes about dismissing a case completely. There are accidents that are simply that, that are accidents and the case should just be dismissed. Or, maybe we think the two were at fault, maybe we think we know what happened, that maybe you feel asleep behind the wheel, but the commonwealth has not proven it.

As we all know, you’re innocent until proven guilty by competent evidence in court. If the commonwealth doesn’t have evidence about what happened, the judge should dismiss a case if there’s no evidence that you actually did something that was reckless. But that’s the basic difference between reckless and improper. Improper is traffic ticket, goes away from your Virginia record in 3 years, reckless driving is a criminal offense that stays on your record for 11 years. If you’re charged with reckless driving, definitely contact me today so we can discuss how to get your case to the best possible outcome, hopefully a dismissal, and improper driving maybe an option as well.

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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