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Reckless Driving in Virginia Explained




Reckless driving laws in Virginia are taken seriously, and the state has specific statutes that define and penalize reckless driving offenses. Reckless driving is considered a criminal offense rather than a simple traffic violation, and it carries potentially severe penalties. Here’s an in-depth outline of the law of reckless driving in Virginia:


Definition of Reckless Driving:


In Virginia, reckless driving is defined as operating a vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others or property. The law encompasses various specific actions that can be considered reckless driving, including but not limited to:


  1. Driving at a speed of 20 miles per hour (mph) or more over the posted speed limit.

  2. Driving above 80 mph, regardless of the posted speed limit.

  3. Racing with other vehicles.

  4. Passing or overtaking an emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights.

  5. Passing a school bus loading or unloading children.

  6. Driving with impaired visibility due to a damaged or obstructed windshield.

  7. Failing to give proper signals.

  8. Driving a vehicle that is not under control.

  9. Passing at a railroad crossing.

  10. Passing two vehicles abreast in a single lane.

  11. Driving too fast for road conditions.


Code of Virginia:


The General rule of Virginia’s Reckless driving statute is defined in Code of Virginia section §46.2-852. The statute conveys that “any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving” has committed reckless driving and should be found guilty. This includes:


Penalties for Reckless Driving in Virginia

Reckless driving in Virginia is defined as a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is a criminal offense. The penalties for reckless driving can include:

Up to 12 months in jail.

A fine of up to $2,500.

Suspension of your driver's license for up to six months.

Six demerit points added to your driving record.

Potential mandatory completion of a driver improvement clinic or community service.

Impact on DMV Driving Record and Insurance:

Reckless driving convictions can have significant consequences on your driving record and insurance rates. Six demerit points are added to your driving record. Insurance companies may view a reckless driving conviction as a major violation, leading to increased premiums or even policy cancellation.


How Long Does a Reckless Driving Conviction Stay on Your Driving Record?


A conviction for reckless driving  stays on your DMV driving record for 11 years.


How Can We help?

The Pickett Law Group, PLLC and its experienced attorneys specialize in traffic law in Virginia and have many experiences on all legal issues. We have won countless cases involving reckless driving and your case could be one of them. If you need specific legal advice or have been charged with reckless driving, contact us today and we will begin to advocate on your behalf. 

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