Virginia Reckless Driving Laws
If you have been charged with reckless driving in Virginia, you may be facing a huge fine or jail term depending on the seriousness of your violation. Read on to understand the definition of reckless driving and the penalties involved.
What is Reckless Driving?
In the state of Virginia, reckless driving defines as operating a car in a manner that endangers lives and property. Many cases of reckless driving involve over-speeding. According to the Virginia Code 46.2-862, a person is deemed guilty of reckless driving if he/she drives their vehicle at a speed of 20 miles per hour and above the required speed limit. Furthermore, since the maximum speed limit in Virginia is 65 miles per hour, a person who exceeds this speed is liable for reckless driving.
Although speeding is the most common ground for a charge of reckless driving, there are other infractions associated with the charge. This includes:
- Catch-all reckless driving: You can be charged with reckless driving for driving in a manner that endangers life or property regardless of the permitted maximum speed.
- Passing a school bus: You may be found guilty of reckless driving for failing to stop when approaching a school bus. The section affects buses that have warning devices and are painted yellow with the words “School Bus” inscribed in black letters.
- Overtaking an emergency car: When approaching an emergency vehicle like an ambulance, a driver should drive to the edge of the road and stop until the vehicle has passed.
- Improper Signaling: When a driver fails to give timely and adequate signals of their intention to stop, slow down or turn, they shall be charged with reckless driving.
The maximum penalties for a charge of reckless driving are:
- 12-month imprisonment
- A driver’s license suspension of 6 months
- A 6-month suspension of your privilege to drive a vehicle in Virginia
- A fine of $2,500
In case your license is suspended, Virginia DMV reports this suspension to the state that issued you a driver’s license. There are several ways your lawyer can contest a reckless driving charge such as:
- Radar calibration
- Speedometer calibration
- Location calibration
- Speed limit calibration
If you, a family member, or friend has been charged with reckless driving in Virginia, the only way to enforce your rights and protect your reputation is by hiring a Richmond criminal defense attorney. Hiring a lawyer will not only help you get reduced charges, but it may also prevent a license suspension.