Reckless Driving in Norfolk, VA
Criminal Defense Attorney in Chesapeake
Under Virginia state law, reckless driving is a six-point moving violation. Furthermore, a ticket for reckless driving is not just a ticket, it is a crime punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor under Virginia Code 46.2-868.
If you have been cited for reckless driving, you need to take action now to handle the situation, because you could end up with not only a fine and points on your license but could also have a conviction on your criminal record.
What constitutes a reckless driving violation in VA?
In addition to the general offense of Reckless Driving, The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles enumerates 16 different circumstances under which a driver can be pulled over and arrested for reckless driving.
These circumstances include:
- Speeding more than 85 MPH
- Speeding 20 MPH or more over the limit
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Passing or overtaking an ambulance or fire truck
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Passing on the crest of a hill
- Passing at a railroad crossing
- Passing two vehicles abreast
- Driving two vehicles abreast
- Failure to signal
- Driving with faulty brakes or improper control
- Reckless driving on parking lots
- Reckless driving with an obstructed view
Examples of Reckless Driving Offenses
It is much easier to be charged with Reckless Driving than you may think:
- Under Virginia Code 46.2-862, you may be found guilty of Reckless Driving for merely driving at a speed that is twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the speed limit, or driving in excess of eighty miles per hour, regardless of the speed limit;
- Under Virginia Code 46.2-860, you may be found guilty of Reckless Driving for merely failing to give adequate and timely signals of your intention to turn, partly turn, slow down, or stop;
- Under Virginia Code 46.2-861, you could be found guilty of Reckless Driving for driving at a speed that exceeds what is reasonable under the circumstances and road conditions, regardless of the posted speed limit;
- Under Virginia Code 46.2-865 and 46.2-867, any person who engages in a race with two or more cars is guilty of Reckless Driving; additionally, if the owner of a motor vehicle is convicted of racing such vehicle in a prearranged, organized race, then the Commonwealth can seize the vehicle.
How many points is a reckless driving offense?
In most cases, a reckless driving conviction will stay on your driving record for 11 years, during which time you can expect to be paying significantly more for car insurance than you would with a clean record. During this time, you will also be carrying 6 demerit points on your record, meaning that you will be at risk of losing your license to a suspension. If you already had points on your record, the reckless driving conviction could lead directly to a suspension.
Criminal Penalties for Reckless Driving
As mentioned above, the offense of Reckless Driving in Virginia is actually a crime, not just a ticket. If convicted, you could be sent to jail for up to 12 months and fined as much as $2,500. In reality, most such cases will not result in incarceration, but the driver may be placed on probation and during that time be especially liable to a subsequent arrest and jail time.
Even if you manage to avoid jail entirely, you would still have to face the prospect of having your conviction show up every time you apply for a job or for housing, a stigma that could severely limit your options in life.
Some states have a reciprocity agreement with Virginia, which means that you will have a Reckless Driving conviction on your driving record even if you are not a Virginia licensed driver. If convicted for an offense that occurred while you were visiting Norfolk, the conviction could follow you home and affect your license and driving record in your home state, and you would be liable to the possibility of increased insurance fees.
With so many negative consequences facing you, it simply isn't worth it to take any chances with the outcome of your case. Contact Curcione Law, PLC now for a consultation to discuss your case with a criminal defense attorney who is available to help you 24/7.
Matthew Curcione is a former police officer, and this background gives him an edge in defending against reckless driving and other charges. Call us today, or fill out a case evaluation form.
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