15 Shades of Reckless Driving

October 25, 2019
woman driving looking at her phone while pedestrians are crossing in front of her

Reckless Driving is classified as a criminal offense. Under Virginia law, there are several different types of Reckless Driving. They are:

  • Reckless Driving generally, or driving in a manner that endangers life, limb, property, 46.2-852;
  • Driving a vehicle which is not under control or has faulty brakes, 46.2-853;
  • Passing on or at the crest of a grade or on a curve, 46.2-854;
  • Driving with a driver’s view obstructed or control impaired, 46.2-855;
  • Passing two vehicles abreast, 46.2-856;
  • Driving two abreast in a single lane, 46.2-857;
  • Passing at a railroad grade crossing, 46.2-858;
  • Passing a stopped school bus, 46.2-859;
  • Failing to give proper signals, 46.2-860;
  • Driving too fast for highway and traffic conditions, 46.2-861;
  • Failing to yield right-of-way or reduce speed when approaching stationary vehicles displaying certain warning lights on highways, 46.2-861.1;

            Additionally, Reckless Driving is one of a select number of driving offenses that can take place in parking lots (see 46.2-864) or not on public highways as defined by 46.2-100.

            Generally, Reckless Driving is a Class 1 Misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, and a license suspension of up to 6 months. However, certain varieties of Reckless Driving are felonious. For example, if one engages in racing such that it causes serious bodily injury to another person, then they could face up to 5 years in prison. If a person is racing and causes the death of another person, then they would face a mandatory minimum 1 year in prison up to 20 years. Additionally, if a person commits another variety of Reckless Driving and does so without a valid operator’s license and is the sole and proximate cause of death of another, they will face up to 5 years in prison. 

            Since the types of Reckless Driving under Virginia law are varied and numerous, I intend to elaborate on specific types in subsequent articles. The main takeaway is that Reckless Driving is treated very seriously in Virginia and contacting a qualified criminal defense attorney is your best chance and obtaining the best possible outcome.