The attorneys at Ervin Kibria PLLC are committed to providing updates and insight into changing criminal offenses in Virginia and DC.
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, speeding is a moving violation for which you receive a citation and points on your driving record. Of course, a speeding ticket is a pain, but the ramifications are relatively limited. Reckless driving, on the other hand, is far more than just a traffic offense, it is a crime.
Reckless driving in Virginia is broadly defined and several statutes address the crime of driving recklessly. The most general of the laws, found in §46.2-852 of the Virginia Code, states that anyone who drives recklessly “at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person” is guilty of reckless driving. This definition gives law enforcement broad discretion to charge you with this misdemeanor offense, even if you weren’t driving at an excessive speed or otherwise engaging in risky driving behaviors.
Many types of behavior behind the wheel constitute the crime of reckless driving in Virginia, including:
Overtaking or passing an emergency vehicle (§46.2-852)
Driving in a manner that endangers the life, limb or property of others (§46.2-852)
Driving in a vehicle with improper brakes or a lack of proper control (§46.2-853)
Passing on a crest or grade (§46.2-854)
Driving a vehicle that is so overloaded it impairs or obstructs driving (§46.2-855)
Passing two vehicles abreast (§46.2-856)
Driving two abreast in a single lane (§46.2-856)
Passing at a railroad grade crossing (§46.2-858)
Passing a stopped school bus (§46.2-859)
Failing to signal (§46.2-860)
Driving too fast for conditions (§46.2-861)
Exceeding the speed limit by 20 miles or more (§46.2-862)
Driving over 80 miles per hour (§46.2-862)
Failure to yield when merging onto a highway (§46.2-863)
Driving recklessly in a parking lot (§46.2-864)
The Virginia traffic defense attorneys at Ervin Kibria PLLC have extensive experience representing clients in all types of reckless driving cases. Contacting an experienced Virginia lawyer for assistance is critical when you are charged with reckless driving because the penalties for these offenses are serious. Reckless driving offenses in Virginia are Class 1 misdemeanors and potential penalties include up to one year of incarceration, fines of up to $2,500 and the suspension of your driver’s license for up to six months. If you are convicted of reckless driving, the conviction will appear on future background checks for jobs and security clearances.
Because reckless driving is a serious charge that could result in jail time as well as a criminal record, it is important to contact an experienced attorney to explore all of the defenses available to you. Reckless driving defenses in Virginia include:
Emergency/necessity. You were driving recklessly because you had to.
Radar calibration problems. You weren’t really driving as fast as is claimed.
Mistaken identity. You were not the one driving the car at the time of the reckless driving.
You may also be able to plea bargain down to avoid criminal charges and penalties. A good driving record and/or a legitimate excuse such as a broken speedometer can be helpful factors in arranging a plea deal.
To help you make the most informed choice about how to handle your Virginia reckless driving offense, contact the experienced Virginia traffic defense lawyers at Ervin Kibria PLLC to schedule a consultation.
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, the attorneys at Ervin Kibria PLLC represent clients in reckless driving and traffic cases in the following jurisdictions:
Justin Ervin is a criminal defense and immigration attorney who practices in Northern Virginia.