15 Shades of Reckless Driving
October 25, 2019
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;
- Exceeding the speed limit (20 or more mph over or traveling over 80mph), 46.2-862;
- Failure to yield right of way, 46.2-863;
- Racing, causing injury when racing, or aiding and abetting racing, 46.2-865, 46.2-865.1, 46.2-866, 46.2-867.
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.