Virginia takes a strong stance on punishing those who engage in risky behavior on its roads. The state has a broad reckless driving law that covers several types of dangerous actions.
Understanding the possible penalties and risks related to reckless driving can help you decide how to proceed if you get this type of ticket.
Speeding is one of the most common forms of reckless driving. Exceeding the posted speed limit or driving at speeds that are unsafe for road conditions can result in reckless driving charges. Penalties can include fines, license suspension and even jail time.
Aggressive behaviors such as tailgating, weaving through traffic and displaying road rage can lead to reckless driving charges. These actions put other road users at risk. In addition to fines and possible jail time, you could receive mandatory anger management classes for an aggressive driving conviction.
Driving under the influence
Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs is a severe form of reckless driving. DUI offenses carry significant penalties including fines, license suspension, mandatory ignition interlock device installation and jail time, especially for repeat offenders.
Passing a school bus
Illegally passing a stopped school bus with its lights flashing and stop sign extended endangers the safety of children. You could receive large fines, license suspension and mandatory jail time for this reckless driving conviction.
Street racing and speed exhibition
Engaging in street racing or any activity that involves the exhibition of speed is a reckless driving offense. Penalties for this type of reckless driving can be severe, including hefty fines, license suspension, and possible vehicle impoundment.
Passing at a Railroad Crossing
Disregarding warning signals or traffic signals to pass at a railroad crossing is also reckless. The potential consequences include fines and a tarnished driving record.
Reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor with a mandatory minimum fine of $250. If you do not have a license at the time of the incident or have multiple past offenses, you could receive Class 6 felony charges. Conviction carries one to five years in jail.