Reckless driving in Virginia is covered in Virginia Code Sections 46.2-852 through 46.2-868. The most common type of reckless driving is reckless driving by speed and the next most common is reckless driving under the general rule, which means reckless driving by driving in any manner as to “endanger life and the property of yourself or another.”
If you’re charged with reckless driving in Fauquier County, you’re charged with a class 1 misdemeanor, this means that you could face up to 12 months in jail, a $2,500 fine, or a combination thereof. In addition, your privilege to drive in Virginia could be suspended for up to 6 months. If you’re charged with reckless driving, you’ll typically have a court date and will not be able to prepay this offense in Fauquier County. To discuss your case consult with a Fauquier County reckless driving lawyer today.
There are at least 13 different ways under which you may be charged with a reckless driving offense in Fauquier County. The most common is Virginia Code Section 46.2-862, which is reckless driving by speed. Reckless driving by speed entails traveling in excess of 20 miles an hour above the posted speed limit or driving above 80 miles an hour regardless of the posted speed limit. The reason for this is that part of Interstate 66, which travels through Fauquier County on it’s way from Prince William County to Warren County, includes a 70 mile-per-hour zone. Under Virginia Code section 46.2-862, you may be charged with reckless driving by speed if you’re driving 81, 82, or 83 miles an hour in that 70 zone, even though it’s obviously less than 20 miles an hour above the posted speed limit. The next most common way people are charged with reckless driving is under the general rule in Virginia Code Section 46.2-852. The general rule states that it is reckless driving if you drive a vehicle in any manner as to endanger the life or property of yourself or another. In practical terms, this means accident cases or cases in which someone nearly causes an accident.
A reckless driving ticket is a class 1 misdemeanor. A traffic infraction is pre-payable, and it has a maximum penalty of a $250 fine. While under certain circumstances, reckless driving fines may be in the same realm as a traffic infraction, they are much more serious offenses as they are criminal charges. Reckless driving charges will remain on your driving record for a longer period of time, typically up to 11 years. They also carry more points, typically negative 6 demerit points and will also create a criminal record which lasts forever.
Additionally, if you ever received a Virginia citation for a traffic infraction, you’ll see it includes information on how to prepay the ticket. A reckless driving charge will not include such information or the charging officer will scratch it out. This means that your appearance in court is required. If you fail to appear in court on a reckless driving ticket, you may be found guilty in your absence or the court may issue a bench warrant for your arrest, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law