Can I be held accountable for a reckless driving law I didn't know about?

Virginia has harsh reckless driving laws, and you can be charged with reckless driving whether or not you know about the laws. If you drive in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you are expected to know and follow its laws. This is true whether you live in Virginia or are an out-of-state resident traveling in the state. The state’s reckless driving laws can be confusing because some offenses that would be considered traffic violations in other states are considered reckless driving in Virginia. Reckless driving laws in Virginia

There are approximately 16 separate offenses that constitute reckless driving in Virginia. Some of these violations include:

  • Driving too fast for highway and road conditions regardless of the posted speed limit
  • Driving 20 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit or over 80 miles per hour
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way
  • Failing to use proper signals
  • Driving with faulty or improperly adjusted brakes
  • Illegal passing such as on the crest of a hill or slope, at a railroad crossing, a stopped school bus, and when pedestrians are present

What Are the Penalties for Reckless Driving?

If you are charged with reckless driving, it is not the same as receiving a traffic infraction ticket and can mail in the fine. Even if you plead guilty, you are required to attend a court hearing to be sentenced. Reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor, and a conviction will result in a permanent criminal record. Penalties for this offense include:

  • Six points on your Virginia driving record
  • Fine of up to $2,500
  • Jail sentence of up to one year
  • Suspension of your driver’s license for up to six months

A conviction could also result in the increase of your insurance rates. Because of the harsh consequences you face, you need the assistance of an experienced reckless driving attorney. He knows the appropriate defenses to use to potentially get the charges dismissed or reduced. In addition, he may be able to attend your court hearing on your behalf without the need for you to be present.

Have you been charged with reckless driving? Virginia attorney Charles V. Hardenberg is here to aggressively fight for the best outcome in your criminal case. To learn more, call our office to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.