If you’ve been charged with reckless driving, it’s essential to understand what this crime constitutes in the state of Virginia. Reckless driving is a broad law that covers any instance of operating a vehicle at a speed or manner that could endanger another individual or property. In a reckless driving or DUI case, the expertise of a qualified traffic attorney is invaluable in protecting your rights.
What Situations Constitute Reckless Driving?
Instances considered reckless driving in Virginia may include but are not limited to:
- Losing control of your vehicle
- Having faulty brakes
- Unsafe passing
- Excessive passengers
- Passing on a narrow road or at a railroad crossing
- Failing to stop for a school bus
- Failing to signal
- Exceeding a reasonable speed or racing another vehicle
What Are the Penalties for Reckless Driving?
While the penalties for those convicted of reckless driving depend on the specific situation, it is usually considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is six months in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine. Your license can be suspended for up to six months, and you’ll have four to six points on your driving record. Anyone convicted of street racing receives a mandatory license suspension of six months to two years.
In many cases, however, a judge will be lenient if the transgression was minor or the perpetrator has a relatively clean driving record. This involves downgrading the charge of reckless driving to improper driving, which carries a $500 fine and no jail time. That’s why it’s so important to seek the guidance of a knowledgeable traffic attorney.
What if a DUI Is Involved?
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, an attorney can help you plea bargain to receive the lesser charge of reckless driving, mainly if it is your first offense. In this case, you could be penalized for reckless driving and be required to take an alcohol safety action program.
Having a professional traffic attorney in Richmond can make a serious impact if you’ve been charged with a DUI or reckless driving in Virginia.