Failure to Yield Can Lead to Reckless Driving Charges

Failing to yield the right-of-way is one of several behaviors that can result in a reckless driving charge under Virginia law. You can be charged with this offense even if your failure to yield doesn't cause an accident. Failure to yield and reckless driving

§ 46.2-863 Failure to Yield Right-of-Way

Virginia reckless driving code § 46.2-863 states, "A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who fails to bring his vehicle to a stop immediately before entering a highway from a side road when there is traffic approaching on such highway within 500 feet of such point of entrance, unless (i) a "Yield Right-of-Way" sign is posted or (ii) where such sign is posted, fails, upon entering such highway, to yield the right-of-way to the driver of a vehicle approaching on such highway from either direction."

If You’re Convicted of Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is considered a criminal offense, not a simple traffic ticket. Penalties for this Class 1 misdemeanor include:

  • Up to 12 months in jail
  • Up to $2,500 in fines
  • Driver's license suspension of 10 days to six months
  • Six demerit points added to your Virginia driving record for the next 11 years

In addition, a reckless driving conviction could affect many other aspects of your life. For example, the stigma of a criminal record could affect your ability to pass a pre-employment background check, enlist in the military, maintain an active security clearance, rent an apartment, or remain in compliance with an international student visa.

The Value of Experienced Legal Representation

It would be a mistake to simply pay your reckless driving ticket and accept the consequences, since the penalties for this offense are harsh. A skilled attorney can work with you to build an aggressive defense to help reduce or drop the charge.

Attorney Charles V. Hardenbergh is dedicated to helping Virginia drivers minimize the consequences of a reckless driving charge, using his experience as a federal prosecutor, JAG officer, and professor of law at VMI. Call today to schedule a free, no obligation case review.