Virginia Reckless Driving Attorney & Penalties

Contact Ervin Kibria PLLC today to discuss your reckless driving case.

(703) 962-7790

Reckless Driving & Traffic Lawyer - Fairfax, Loudoun, Arlington, Alexandria, Stafford and Prince William County

In Virginia, Reckless Driving is a serious misdemeanor charge that can have significant consequences – both criminally and socially.  It is critical to retain an experienced reckless driving attorney.  Aside from the criminal punishments that can come from a reckless driving conviction, individuals charged with misdemeanor reckless driving must be aware of the serious consequences that the conviction can have on employment, getting into college or other secondary education institutions, obtaining and maintaining security clearances, immigration and naturalization, and other non-civilian employment (law enforcement, military, etc.).

Reckless Driving is a misdemeanor traffic offense, and is criminalized by VA Code 46.2-862, which states that a person shall be guilty of Reckless Driving if driving a motor vehicle on a Virginia public roadway either:

  • At a speed of 20 mph over the posted speed limit, or
  • At a speed of more than 80 mph (regardless of the posted speed limit).

FAIRFAX, ALEXANDRIA AND ARLINGTON RECKLESS DRIVING

Criminal Reckless Driving may be alternatively charged as:

  • “82-1-6″ on a Fairfax Driving Summons
  • “10-3-862″ or “10-3-852″ on an Alexandria Driving Summons

While it appears that the numbers are different, they all point to the same penalties and criminal designation.

reckless driving attorney

RECKLESS DRIVING FIRST OFFENSE IN VIRGINIA

First time offenders get consideration for their lack of speeding history during sentencing and plea bargaining negotiations between the defense attorney and prosecutor. However, it is important to understand that prior speeding tickets and poor driving records, even though non-criminal in nature, are considered by the prosecutors and judges to elevate penalties. Please consult with an attorney about your particular case factors to better gauge an appropriate sentence range expectation.

CONSEQUENCES OF A RECKLESS DRIVING CONVICTION

This misdemeanor offense is very serious for purposes of civilian employment, getting into universities, government employment, obtaining / maintaining a security clearance, military (Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force) punishment, admission to a state bar, law enforcement / police officer employment, and immigration and naturalization, amongst others. Individuals with these concerns must discuss the implication with their attorneys.

If you are facing a reckless driving or other serious traffic offense, contact the attorneys at Ervin Kibria today to thoroughly discuss your case and make a determination on whether an attorney is needed in your particular case.

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Penalties For Virginia Reckless Driving Conviction

WHAT ARE DEFENSES TO A RECKLESS DRIVING CHARGE?

This crime, as any other, must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a courtroom. Defenses include insufficient testimony from the police or other witnesses, improper calibration of lidar or radar, improper testing of lidar or radar, expired certification of the lidar or radar, amongst others.

Plea offers include breaking down the charge to simple speeding, improper driving, or dismissing it all together.

LIST OF ALL VARIATIONS OF THE VIRGINIA RECKLESS DRIVING OFFENSE

1) The most common charge is for “Reckless Driving by Speed.” This charge applies to speeding 20 miles over the speed limit and/or driving above 80 miles per hour in Virginia. This is charged under Virginia VA Code Section 46.2-862 and is explained above.

2) The second most common charge in Virginia is for “Reckless Driving Generally.” This charge applies to the manner of your driving and is evaluated by whether your driving manner endangered either a person or property. This is charged under Virginia VA Code Section 46.2-852.

3) “Reckless Driving – Driving vehicle which is not under control” is another Reckless Driving charge. This charge applies to anyone driving in Virginia who drives a vehicle which is not under proper control or which has inadequate or improperly adjusted brakes. This is charged under Virginia VA Code Section 46.2-853.

4) “Reckless Driving – Passing on or at the crest of a grade or on a curve” is another Reckless Driving charge. This charge applies to anyone driving in Virginia who, while driving a vehicle, overtakes and passes another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, on or approaching the crest of a grade or on or approaching a curve in the highway, where the driver’s view along the highway is obstructed, except where the overtaking vehicle is being operated on a highway having two or more designated lanes of roadway for each direction of travel or on a designated one-way roadway or highway. This is charged under Virginia VA Code Section 46.2-854.

5) “Reckless Driving – Driving with driver’s view obstructed or control impaired” is another Reckless Driving charge. This charge applies to anyone driving in Virginia who drives a vehicle when it is so loaded, or when there are in the front seat such number of persons, as to obstruct the view of the driver to the front or sides of the vehicle or to interfere with the driver’s control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle. This is charged under Virginia VA Code Section 46.2-855.

6) “Reckless Driving – Passing two vehicles abreast” is another Reckless Driving charge. This charge applies to anyone driving in Virginia who passes or attempts to pass two other vehicles abreast, moving in the same direction, except on highways having separate roadways of three or more lanes for each direction of travel, or on designated one-way streets or highways. This is charged under Virginia VA Code Section 46.2-856.

7) “Reckless Driving – Driving two abreast in a single lane” is another Reckless Driving charge. This charge applies to anyone driving in Virginia who drives any motor vehicle, including any motorcycle, so as to be abreast of another vehicle in a lane designed for one vehicle, or drives any motor vehicle, including any motorcycle, so as to travel abreast of any other vehicle traveling in a lane designed for one vehicle. This is charged under Virginia VA Code Section 46.2-857.

8 ) “Reckless Driving – Passing at a railroad grade crossing” is another Reckless Driving charge. This charge applies to anyone driving in Virginia who overtakes or passes any other vehicle proceeding in the same direction at any railroad grade crossing or at any intersection of highways unless such vehicles are being operated on a highway having two or more designated lanes of roadway for each direction of travel or unless such intersection is designated and marked as a passing zone or on a designated one-way street or highway, or while pedestrians are passing or about to pass in front of either of such vehicles, unless permitted so to do by a traffic light or law-enforcement officer. This is charged under Virginia VA Code Section 46.2-858.

9) “Reckless Driving – Passing a stopped school bus” is another Reckless Driving charge. This charge applies to anyone driving in Virginia who fails to stop, when approaching from any direction, any school bus which is stopped on any highway, private road or school driveway for the purpose of taking on or discharging children, the elderly, or mentally or physically handicapped persons, and to remain stopped until all the persons are clear of the highway, private road or school driveway and the bus is put in motion. This is charged under Virginia VA Code Section 46.2-859.

10) “Reckless Driving – Failing to give proper signals” is another Reckless Driving charge. This charge applies to anyone driving in Virginia who fails to give adequate and timely signals of intention to turn, partly turn, slow down, or stop. This is charged under Virginia VA Code Section 46.2-860.

11) “Reckless Driving – Driving too fast for highway and traffic conditions” is another Reckless Driving charge. This charge applies to anyone driving in Virginia who exceeds a reasonable speed under the circumstances and traffic conditions existing at the time, regardless of any posted speed limit. This is charged under Virginia VA Code Section 46.2-861.

12) “Reckless Driving – Failure to yield right-of-way” is another Reckless Driving charge. This charge applies to anyone driving in Virginia who fails to bring his vehicle to a stop immediately before entering a highway from a side road when there is traffic approaching on such highway within 500 feet of such point of entrance, unless (i) a “Yield Right-of-Way” sign is posted or (ii) where such sign is posted, fails, upon entering such highway, to yield the right-of-way to the driver of a vehicle approaching on such highway from either direction. This is charged under Virginia VA Code Section 46.2-863.

13) “Reckless Driving – Reckless driving on parking lots” is another Reckless Driving charge. This charge applies to anyone driving in Virginia who operates any motor vehicle at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person: (1) On any driveway or premises of a church, school, recreational facility, or business property open to the public; or (2) On the premises of any industrial establishment providing parking space for customers, patrons, or employees; or (3) On any highway under construction or not yet open to the public. This is charged under Virginia VA Code Section 46.2-864.

14) “Reckless Driving – Racing” is another Reckless Driving charge. This charge applies to anyone driving in Virginia who engages in a race between two or more motor vehicles on the highways in the Commonwealth or on any driveway or premises of a church, school, recreational facility, or business property open to the public in the Commonwealth shall be guilty of reckless driving, unless authorized by the owner of the property or his agent. This is charged under Virginia VA Code Section 46.2-865. It is important to note the VA definition of racing, as police officers and lawyers alike tend to mistake speeding contests for actual racing as is defined by Virginia law. racing requires a pre-defined start point and pre-defined end point. Just because two cars are going very fast next to each other and trying to beat the other’s speed does not mean that in fact they are racing under this reckless driving code section.

All of these reckless driving tickets are punishes as Class 1 misdemeanor criminal offenses. the penalty is described above.

VIRGINIA AGGRESSIVE DRIVING

VA Code 46.2-868.1 criminally penalizes individuals for Aggressive Driving. Aggressive driving is a Class 2 misdemeanor. However, aggressive driving with the intent to injure another person is as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

A person is guilty of aggressive driving if:
(i) the person violates one or more of the following:
§ 46.2-802 (Drive on right side of highways),
§ 46.2-804 (Failure to observe lanes marked for traffic),
§ 46.2-816 (Following too closely),
§ 46.2-821 (Vehicles before entering certain highways shall stop or yield right-of-way),
§ 46.2-833.1 (Evasion of traffic control devices),
§ 46.2-838 (Passing when overtaking a vehicle),
§ 46.2-841 (When overtaking vehicle may pass on right),
§ 46.2-842 (Driver to give way to overtaking vehicle),
§ 46.2-842.1 (Driver to give way to certain overtaking vehicles on divided highway),
§ 46.2-843 (Limitations on overtaking and passing),
any provision of Article 8 (§ 46.2-870 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 46.2 (Speed),
or § 46.2-888 (Stopping on highways);
(ii) AND that person is a hazard to another person OR commits one of the offenses above with the intent to harass, intimidate, injure or obstruct another person.

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Should I Get A Lawyer For a Reckless Driving Charge?

Only after a consultation where we can thoroughly discuss your particular case and the facts surrounding your charges can we properly answer this question.  However, due to the serious nature of  a Virginia Reckless Driving charge, it is important for you to at least reach out to an attorney and discuss the options available to you.  If you decide not to challenge the charge in court, you will face the consequences, both criminally and socially, of having a misdemeanor conviction on your record.  The circumstances of your case may make you eligible for certain punishment reductions or diversion programs.  You can only find out by speaking to an experienced traffic attorney.

Call Us Today To Discuss Your Virginia Reckless Driving Case: (703) 962-7790