Reckless Driving

Virginia Reckless Driving is a serious charge and is punishable as a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Class 1 misdemeanors in Virginia are punishable by a maximum penalty of up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500.00.

Additionally, a conviction for reckless driving in Virginia could result in a suspension of your license for up to six month. Furthermore, the Virginia DMV assesses six (6) points for a reckless driving conviction and it stays on your driver’s record for eleven (11) years.

Maximum Penalties Explained

The jail sentence and fine are maximum penalties. This do not necessarily mean that the judge will impose a jail sentence or a $2,500.00 fine in your case. The amount of the jail time, if any is imposed, the amount of the fine and the whether or not a person’s license is suspended depends on a variety of factors specific to your situation, to include, but not limited to, the speed you were traveling, traffic conditions, time of day, driving record, whether anyone was injured as a result of your driving behavior, and your attitude towards the police officer.

Criminal Offense

The classification of Reckless Driving as a Class 1 Misdemeanor means that it is a criminal offense equatable to offenses like DWI | DUI | Drunk Driving ( § 18.2-266), Petit Larceny (§ 18.2-96), and assault and battery (§ 18.2-57).

Strict Liability

Some Virginia Reckless Driving offenses are considered strict liability offenses.  This means the government does not have to show an intent element (mens rea) or scienter element to prove the offense against a person.  A perfect example of this is Reckless Driving by Speed in violation of § 46.2-862 of the Code of Virginia.  To substantiate a conviction for this offense, all the government must do is establish that you were the driver of a vehicle that was traveling at a speed prohibited by this law section.  If the act, regardless of intent or mental state, falls within the preclusive affect of the statute, it is sufficient to sustain a conviction.

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Effect On Your Personal And Professional Life

Because a virginia reckless driving charge is a criminal offense, a mere conviction can cause serious problems for a person’s employment, security clearance, immigration status, and more. These problems are unique to each individuals circumstances. However, a skilled and experienced attorney can help mitigate the consequences. Understanding the charge is the first step to getting the offense resolved in your favor. In Virginia, over 11 different statutes contain driving behavior punishable as reckless driving. Click on your charge below to learn more:

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