Reckless Driving in Virginia is a serious traffic charge that can result in a jail sentence, fine and loss of driving privilege. Since it is a class 1 Misdemeanor, it carries up to 12 months in jail and up to a $2,500.00 fine.
You can be charged with Reckless Driving in Virginia for driving at a speed that is 20 miles per hour or more above the speed limit or 80 miles per hour in a 65 or 70 mile per hour zone.
Reckless driving can also be charged for driving in reckless disregard for the safety of oneself or others, which can include a lot of different situations, even on private property. These situations include driving too fast for road conditions, following too closely, rapid lane changes that endanger other drivers, having faulty brakes, and for causing an accident.
To prove Reckless Driving for exceeding the speed limit, police must be able to determine the measure the speed of the vehicle. They can do this by pacing, or following the speeding car for a quarter mile or more. They can also use radar, which are widely used and can be used while the police cruiser is sitting still on the side of the road or while it is traveling on the road. A more recent technology is LIDAR, which uses a laser to determine speed and distance, and is very accurate. No matter what method police use to determine the speed of a vehicle, the equipment must have been calibrated within the past six months of the date of the ticket, otherwise the results are inadmissible in court.
In Virginia a reckless driving charge requires a court appearance. It is not a ticket that can be prepaid. In many situations an attorney can appear in the place of a person charged with reckless driving, which can be very helpful for people who get a speeding ticket while traveling through Virginia but live in another state.
There are a number of possible defenses. If you are charged with Reckless Driving in Virginia there are several things that you can do. For example, you should consider taking a driver improvement course, get a copy of your driving record, replace any defective equipment and get a speedometer calibration. Even if no defense is available, it may still be possible to have the charge dismissed or lowered to a lesser offense that carries less points on your driving record and a lower fine. Anyone charged with reckless driving should speak with an attorney.
We offer free consultations for all traffic and criminal law issues, so call today to schedule an appointment. If you are able to speak with an attorney over the phone then usually you can get an appointment the same day.