Under Virginia law, reckless driving is defined as “any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.” Any speed in excess of 80 miles per hour is also considered reckless by speed.
While a common law across the United States, Virginia penalizes reckless driving more harshly than most states. In Virginia, reckless driving is considered a criminal offense rather than a traffic violation and counts as a class 1 misdemeanor.
In Richmond, reckless driving is a serious charge with substantial consequences. That’s why it’s important to defend yourself from these charges with an experienced defense attorney.
The defense attorneys at Cravens and Noll have handled literally thousands of reckless driving matters and will work with your unique situation to protect your freedom, your criminal record, and your privilege to drive.
What Counts as Reckless Driving?
As a major population center, the Richmond area is the intersection with several of America’s busiest highways:
- I-95: the major north-south highway on the East Coast
- I-64: the major east-west highway
- Route 288: a connector between I-95 and I-64
Both local commuters and out-of-state drivers use these highways on a regular basis.
As such, local & state police officers in Richmond commonly patrol these highways and look for anyone speeding. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, a driver is considered reckless by speed if they are driving above 80 mph or 20 mph above the posted speed limit.
You can also be charged with reckless driving for a variety of other reasons.
- Passing or overtaking an emergency vehicle
- Passing a school bus
- Passing on the crest of a hill
- Passing at a railroad crossing
- Passing two vehicles that are side-by-side
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Failing to give the proper signal
- Faulty brakes or improper control
- Driving with an obstructed view
It’s important to understand what constitutes reckless driving. By educating yourself, you can know what not to do while driving in Virginia.
What Happens if I Get a Reckless Driving Charge?
Virginia takes reckless driving charges very seriously, that’s why it’s a class 1 misdemeanor and considered a criminal charge. If you are convicted of reckless driving, either on its own or in relation to another charge accident, you can face serious consequences.
- A fine up to $2,500
- Jail time of up to 1 year of confinement
- Suspension of your driver’s license for up to 6 months
- The conviction listed on your DMV record for 11 years
- A criminal conviction on your record for life
On top of criminal charges, your car insurance fees will also go up. According to an analysis from Insurance.com, car insurance plans raise 73% in price after a reckless driving conviction.
If these charges are not treated seriously and vigorously defended, your life and record can be permanently affected.
Contact the reckless driving defense attorneys at Cravens and Noll immediately if you have been ticketed.
What Happens When You’re An Out-of-State Driver
Virginia is a popular destination for many people across the country. Whether you want to relive American history or you’re just passing through on your way along the interstate corridors, you can still be pulled over and charged with reckless driving.
When driving through Virginia, you will be held to Virginia’s legal standard for reckless driving.
This may require you to come back to the state for your court hearing, which can, oftentimes, be impossible for your situation, time consuming and expensive. In many cases we can alleviate this burden and resolve this matter without your personal appearance.
Cravens and Noll, P.C. has a wealth of experience defending drivers from out of state. If you have been cited, do yourself a favor and give us a call.
Richmond’s Premiere Reckless Driving Defense Attorneys
The attorneys at Cravens and Noll, P.C. have decades of experience defending reckless driving cases in court. We understand how devastating these charges can be to your future. That’s why we will defend you in court and fight for you and the future you deserve.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Tell us about your case and our lawyers can start investigating your unique situation ASAP.