Reckless Driving in Virginia is more than a glorified speeding ticket. It is a class 1 misdemeanor that can result in up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $2500!
That’s right! Reckless Driving in Virginia is a CRIME that will remain on your record FOREVER.
The judge will probably not order the maximum penalty for a first offense Reckless Driving charge. However, there is a really good chance of receiving a hefty fine and a suspension of your driving privileges. Regardless of the other conditions, the part of the guilty verdict that results in the finding of guilt of a crime remains.
Why is this important? I had a potential client call me because she was trying to rent an apartment in Florida and they did not approve her application because her name came up when they did a criminal background check. Yep…it was the Reckless Driving ticket she got 5 years before that showed up as a ‘criminal conviction’ with really no other information explaining that it was for driving at excessive speed. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot we can do except try to get the records to explain that this was a speeding matter and not something that most of us think of as ‘more criminal’ in nature. By the time we could arrange all of this, the apartment was no longer available, but at least the Potential Client has the information for the next time this happens.
So, what is Reckless Driving? Reckless Driving is driving at any speed that is in excess of 20 miles over the posted speed limit OR driving at a speed in excess of 80 MPH (regardless of the posted speed limit) OR any driving action that is perceived by the officer to be driving in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.
When they raised the speed limit on most of the interstates in Virginia to 70 MPH, they did not change the limit for Reckless Driving. I know most people think you can go 10 miles over the speed limit and not get caught, but this is something you should really be aware of. (As a side note, I’ve been in court when people were found guilty of going 4 miles over the posted speed limit. After all, it was technically over the posted limit.)
The bottom line is to take a ticket for Reckless Driving very seriously. I would suggest that you consider the ticket for Reckless Driving as being the same as being arrested for any other crime.
If you have any questions about this or any other legal subject, please feel free to give us a call at 757-234-4650 or visit our website at http://www.BeaversLaw.com.