Drivers have to be sure that they are driving in a safe manner. This helps to keep them and other people on the roadway safe. Some drivers choose not to follow basic safety rules. These drivers can cause accidents that lead to serious injuries or death.
When driving in an extremely unsafe manner, it is possible that a law enforcement officer will stop the driver for reckless driving. This is a serious matter in Virginia. Here are some points to remember about this type of dangerous driving:
Definition of reckless driving
Reckless driving isn't one single action. Instead, there are several behaviors that can lead to a reckless driving charge. You should know that reckless driving is more than merely a traffic ticket. It is a criminal charge that is classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Virginia law notes that driving at a speed of more than 80 miles per hour or driving more than 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit are both reckless driving charges. Passing a school bus or emergency vehicle, passing two vehicles that are abreast, passing at the crest of a hill and passing on a railroad crossing all fall under this category.
You can also face reckless driving charges if you drive too fast for the conditions, have faulty brakes or improper control, fail to give a proper signal, drive two vehicles abreast or drive with an obstructed view. These charges can occur on a roadway or if you are driving in a reckless manner in a parking lot.
Reckless driving and demerit points
You are assessed demerit points for reckless driving. These points are added to your driving record whether the incident occurs in Virginia or in another state. In almost every case, the points remain on your record for 11 years. Every reckless driving conviction adds six demerit points to your license, which is the same as drunk driving and manslaughter charges.
You must take a reckless driving charge seriously. These charges don't impact only your driving record. They impact your criminal record since you will face either a felony or misdemeanor. Since these are criminal matters, you do have the right to present a defense against the charge. Make sure that you work on this early so that you aren't trying to throw a defense together at the last minute.