Many drivers don't realize the seriousness of Virginia’s Reckless Driving laws before being charged with one of the many code sections that prescribe Class I misdemeanor punishment to different types of driving behavior. In Virginia, Class I misdemeanors carry the possibility of up to $2500 in fines and up to twelve months in jail. Additionally, Reckless Driving statutes allow judges the discretion to suspend the operator’s license of those convicted of Reckless Driving for up to six months. Even in situations where judges can be persuaded to give lighter sentences, the stigma of a criminal conviction and insurance ramifications can cause lingering hardships for those convicted of Reckless Driving.
The Various Reckless Driving Statutes
In Virginia, the Reckless Driving code sections are listed between 46.2-852 and 46.2-868 of the Motor Vehicles volume. Some of the laws appear simple and straightforward while others are more specific or complicated. For instance, Virginia Code Section 46.2-862 spells out (in part) that any person who operates a motor vehicle at over 20 miles per hour over the maximum speed limit “shall be guilty of reckless driving.” While Virginia Code Section 46.2-862 seems quite clear, Virginia Code Section 46.2-859, which involves passing school buses, is much more technical in nature. Other Reckless Driving code sections include 46.2-854 (Passing on a Crest or Curve), 46.2-861 (Driving Too Fast For Road Conditions), 46.2-864 (Reckless Driving on a Parking Lot), and 46.2-865 (Racing).
Though many of the Reckless Driving laws cover very specific acts of unlawful driving, other Reckless Driving statutes, like Section 46.2-852 (which covers “general” Reckless Driving), grant police officers and state troopers broad discretion as to when Reckless Driving should be charged.
How Can Smith Law Firm Help?
As mentioned, Reckless Driving charges carry the possibility of severe punishment, and even less aggravated cases carry the danger of a criminal conviction and insurance increases. For those who have (or are seeking) a security clearance or possess a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), a Reckless Driving conviction can have other negative consequences. A competent traffic defense attorney knows when a case should be fought aggressively and when a case should be resolved other ways.
In trial scenarios, Smith Law attorneys know the rules of evidence, work hard to stay abreast of changes in the law, and use their training and experience to aggressively defend their clients. Likewise, when a client’s best interest requires resolving a case without a trial, our attorneys know how to steer through plea negotiations and/or help judges understand why our clients deserve mercy.
Often, our attorneys help Reckless Driving defendants avoid conviction. The first step toward a great result is scheduling a consultation!