I’ve been charged with Reckless Driving. Now what?
Reckless Driving in Virginia is not merely a traffic ticket. Reckless Driving is a misdemeanor criminal charge, and as such, carries maximum punishments of up to one year in jail, license suspension for up to six-months, and a $2,500 fine. In addition, a conviction will result in a permanent criminal record with state and Federal law enforcement agencies. This can be a factor in a future job or school application. A conviction can have an impact on a security clearance application or renewal, affecting not only government employees, but even government contractors. A Reckless Driving conviction can have serious ramifications with your DMV record, auto insurance rates, and can even be a factor in your life insurance premium calculations.
Under Virginia law, Reckless Driving can be alleged in a number of different forms. General Reckless Driving under Virginia Code 46.2-852 hinges on dangerous driving. Sometimes this section might be invoked in a traffic accident circumstance. Very common in Virginia is Reckless Driving by speed alone. Virginia Code 46.2-862 defines recklessness as exceeding the posted speed limit by 20 miles per hour or more, or more than 80 miles per hour regardless of the speed limit.
Although one can be arrested for Reckless Driving, most commonly, a traffic summons is issued at the scene and you have a mandatory court date in the local General District Court.