How Speeding Can Lead to Jail

November 26, 2019
man driving a car

Reckless Driving by Speed under Virginia Code 46.2-862 is the most common form of Reckless Driving appearing in Virginia courts. Ironically, I have found it is the type that seems to be most perplexing to people. After all, most people don’t thing of speeding as something that could cause them to wind up in jail or with a suspended license.

There are two possible criteria under Virginia law for Reckless Driving by Speed: traveling 20 miles-per-hour or more over the speed limit and/or traveling 85 miles-per-hour or higher (the threshold was increased from 80mph to 85mph in 2020). Like any speeding case, police officers utilize speed calculating tools such as stationary and moving radar, lidar, and vehicle pacing in order to prove that a person is committing Reckless Driving by Speed. Also, like any speeding case, the reliability of the method of speed calculation is a critical to the prosecution of such cases, which is why hiring an attorney is so essential. While on the topic, contrary to popular belief, a police officer is not obligated to show you his radar or lidar reading upon roadside demand.

Very often I encounter people who are skeptical about the jailability of Reckless Driving by Speed. Usually I respond by asking if they have ever heard of a baseball player named Jayson Werth. Despite his local fame as an outfielder for the Washington Nationals, Mr. Werth was sentenced to active jail time due to his Reckless Driving by Speed conviction. Thus, it is not a matter that Courts take lightly.

It is said that the old “standard” for Reckless Speeding cases was that a person would face 1 day in jail for every mile-per-hour over 90. This is not a hard-and-fast rule, but still bears some credence. Generally, prosecutors and judges consider the speed disparity compared to the posted speed limit, how much the speed was close to or over 90mph, the defendant’s driving history, and the mitigating points that defense counsel makes when determining how to treat a Reckless Speeding case. Likewise, it is in your best interest to hire a qualified Virginia criminal defense attorney immediately if you are facing a Reckless Speeding charge. Only then will you be able to gain guidance on how to approach your situation in order to obtain the best possible outcome. To consult with our attorney at Rudolphi Law, contact our office today.