Reckless Driving & Speeding
Reckless Driving is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2500, and/or suspension of your driver’s license for up to 6 months. A Reckless Driving conviction will result in six negative points on your license and may affect your insurance rates. Where the evidence of Reckless Driving is slight, the judge or prosecutor may reduce the charge to Improper Driving (46.2-869) which is a traffic infraction and is punishable by a fine of up to $500. However, often times it is better to negotiate a reduction to speeding or other traffic infraction. The attorneys at DSK|Law work to achieve the best possible result for our clients through negotiation or trial.
Reckless Driving Examples
Reckless Driving is discussed in Virginia Code Sections 46.2-852 through 46.2-869. Reckless Driving encompasses numerous types of driving behavior. The most common types of Reckless Driving charges are: Reckless Driving Generally (46.2-852) and exceeding the speed limit by 20 mph or exceeding 80 mph (46.2-862). Other forms of Reckless Driving include: not maintaining proper control of a vehicle or faulty brakes (46.2-853), passing on or at the crest of a grade or curve (46.2-854), driving with an obstructed view or impaired control (46.2-855), passing two vehicles abreast (46.2-856), driving two abreast in a single lane (46.2-857), passing at a railroad crossing (46.2-858), passing a stopped school bus (46.2-859), failing to give proper signals (46.2-860), driving too fast for traffic or highway conditions (46.2-861), failure to yield right of way (46.2-863), and racing (46.2-865).
Reckless Driving Driving | Generally Virginia Code 46.2-852
Irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving.
The essence of the offense of Reckless Driving lies not in the act of operating a vehicle, but in the manner and circumstances of its operation. Powers v. Commonwealth, 21 Va. 386 (1970).
Recklessly, as it pertains to Reckless Driving, imparts a disregard by the driver of the motor vehicle for the consequences of his act and an indifference to the safety of life, limb, or property. Powers v. Commonwealth, 21 Va. 386 (1970).
Reckless Driving | Exceeding the Speed Limit | VA Code 46.2-862
A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.
Pacing is a valid method to determine the speed of a vehicle where the calibration tests to prove the accuracy of the officer’s speedometer are properly admitted. West v. Commonwealth, 43 Va. App. 327 (2004).