As of 2017, there were 6,087,245 licensed drivers in the state of Virginia. There was even more registered vehicles, sitting at a whopping high of 8,234,406! So it comes as no surprise that many people are on the receiving end of reckless driving charges.
Reckless driving in Virginia is a disregard for the safety of your fellow road-sharers. But that’s certainly not the only way to get charged. There is a slew of dangerous behaviors that can contribute to a VA cop pulling you over.
So, what are the most common causes of reckless driving arrests, fines, and stops?
We’re here to outline the ones that tend to be a problem for the Virginia roadways. That way you can avoid the behavior yourself, or get legal help if you slip up.
Common Reckless Driving Charges to Lookout For
If someone drives a vehicle in any type of dangerous way, they’re prone to get charged. Depending on the severity, punishment may include fines up to $2,500 – or even a misdemeanor.
There are many types of reckless driving. Here are a few things that could put you under the radar:
- Going a speed over 80 mph in any part of Virginia state
- Going 20 mph over the posted speed limit
- Racing your vehicle
- Passing a stopped school bus or emergency vehicle
- Not using headlights during the dark and/or rain
- Evading an officer
- Not stopping for red lights and/or stop signs
- Texting while driving
- Not yielding to fellow cars or pedestrians
Reckless driving is a convenient catch-all word. It encompasses all these dangerous behaviors and then some. You may still get charged with reckless driving even if you didn’t commit an act on this list.
For example, drinking while intoxicated can result in a reckless driving charge as well as a DUI or DWI. The DMV mentions passing a double yellow line on a two-lane highway as another reckless act.
So these are not only the most common causes for charges in Virginia but nationwide.
What Are the Penalties for a Reckless Driving Charge?
There’s no denying that the punishment for reckless driving in Virginia is a harsh one. In fact, it may even be the harshest.
A reckless driving charge could cost you 6 points on your license, a revoked license, huge fines, and/or more.
For the most part, the severity of your punishment will depend on your current driving record. Do you regularly drive with a “lead foot”? Do you already have an accumulation of speeding tickets under your belt?
Then you may be facing quite the severe penalty.
Here’s the gist of what you can expect if you’re charged with this crime:
- A misdemeanor
- Potential one-year imprisonment
- Fines up to $2,500
- Up to 6 points on your license, on a 24-point scale
- License suspension and/or revocation
- Raised premium/insurance costs
And so on.
If you get charged with reckless driving, don’t wait until it “blows over,” because it may never. Get a lawyer and act fast.
Check Yourself Before You (W)Reck Yourself
Have you recently received reckless driving charges? Are you wondering about the next steps to take?
Check out our guide to finding a reckless driving lawyer in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Areas of Practice
- Criminal Law
- Traffic Violations
- Reckless Driving
- Felonies and Misdemeanors
- Virginia, 1985
- District of Columbia, 1987
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia, 1985
- U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, 1987
- U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, 1985
- U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. Court of Federal Claims
- University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, Virginia
- J.D. - 1985
- Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- B.A. magna cum laude - 1982
- Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
- Major: Economics & Philosophy