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Is a CRIME-not a traffic infraction. It can be a misdemeanor or felony and will remain on a driver’s permanent criminal record and cannot be expunged.
Reckless Driving in Virginia
Reckless driving under Va. Code §46.2-852 is committed when a person drives a motor vehicle or at a speed that endangers life, limb or property of another person.Reckless driving in Virginia under Va. Code §46.2-852 is frequently charged after the driving was involved in an accident. The police officer who responds to the scene determines who is at fault and will charge that individual with reckless driving.
HOWEVER, the simple fact that there was an accident does not prove that reckless driving under Va. Code §46.2-852. The Commonwealth must still prove that the accused engaged in reckless conduct.
Difference Between a Reckless Driving Charge and Traffic Infraction in Virginia
This is considered a crime. As a result conviction results in a permanent criminal record. Unlike speeding tickets and other traffic infractions, a driver CANNOT pre-pay fines for a Virginia Reckless Driving charge. The driver HAS TO APPEAR in court. Failure to appear in court could result in ADDITIONAL criminal charge.
Proof of Reckless Driving in Virginia
To convict an individual of reckless driving in Virginia under Va. Code §46.2-852, the Commonwealth must prove:
- A motor vehicle
- On a highway in the Commonwealth
- In a manner that endangers the life, limb or property or another.
This can be a misdemeanor or a felony. It is punishable with jail (or prison) high fines, driver's license suspension, and DMV demerit points. Additionally if the court believes alcohol was involved the court may order the completion of the Virginia Alcohol Safety Program.
- Jail under up to 12 months
- Fines of up to $2,500. This does not include the court costs
- Driver's license suspension for 10 days to 6 months. A restricted operator license may be available which allows you to drive under specific circumstances. If you drive outside those restrictions you be charged with violation of Va. Code §46.301 (Va. Code §46.2-393(B))
- The DMV will add 6 demerit points to the driving record of anyone convicted of reckless driving in Virginia.
Felony Reckless Driving:
Reckless driving in Virginia can sometimes be a felony. If the offender was:
- driving without a valid operator’s license due to a suspension or revocation for a moving violation and
- caused the death of another person as a result of the reckless driving,
he or she will be charged with a Class 6 felony (Va. Code §46.2-868(B)). This offense is punished with up to 5 years in prison, a fine up to $2500, and driver’s license revocation for 1 year.Virginia Code § 46.2-852. Reckless driving; general rule.Irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving.§ 46.2-868. Reckless driving; penalties.A. Every person convicted of reckless driving under the provisions of this article is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.B. Every person convicted of reckless driving under the provisions of this article who, when he committed the offense, (i) was driving without a valid operator’s license due to a suspension or revocation for a moving violation and, (ii) as the sole and proximate result of his reckless driving, caused the death of another, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.C. The punishment for every person convicted of reckless driving under the provisions of this article who, when he committed the offense, was in violation of § 46.2-1078.1 shall include a mandatory minimum fine of $250.