Evaluating 4 Different Penalties for Reckless Driving in Virginia
From a general standpoint, reckless driving in Virginia refers to any conduct on state roadways that endangers other people or property. From a specific standpoint, reckless driving can occur when a person drives too fast, races with other vehicles, drives with an obstructed view, or engages in similarly dangerous driving behavior.
In order to dissuade this reckless driving behavior, there are many different types of penalties for this offense in Virginia. To understand the breadth of these penalties, the following sections will evaluate four different penalties for reckless driving in Virginia — Criminal Fines, Jail Time, Imprisonment, and License Suspension.
- Criminal Fines
Even though reckless driving charges can range from misdemeanor to felony, the criminal fines do not usually change very much. Generally speaking, reckless driving is either a Class 1 misdemeanor of Class 6 felony under Virginia law. In either case, the applicable criminal fines typically have an upper limit of $2,500. That being said, various factors can contribute to a higher financial impact for reckless driving offenses, including but not limited to property damage and personal injury or death.
- Jail Time
Any person charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor reckless driving offense faces a potential confinement period in county jail. For this level of misdemeanor reckless driving charge, the offender can expect to spend up to 12 months in county jail. After their release from county jail, the offender generally must complete a probationary or supervisory period.
Any person charged with a Class 6 felony reckless driving offense faces potential imprisonment for a period of time. For this level of felony reckless driving charge, the offender can expect to spend between one and five years in prison. After completing their prison sentence, the offender generally must complete a probationary or supervisory period.
- License Suspension
In addition to criminal fines and confinement, reckless driving offenders are usually subject to a period of driver’s license suspension. Stated otherwise, the offender will temporarily lose their ability to drive a car or operate other motor vehicles.
For reckless driving offenses in general, Code of Virginia Section 46.2-393 details a discretionary period of driver’s license suspension. Under this section, the offender can lose their driving privileges for 60 days to six months.
For reckless driving offenses that result in the death of a person, there are different guidelines for driver’s license suspension under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-396. In these circumstances, the Virginia courts may suspend the license of a reckless driver for up to 12 months.
Let Us Help You Today
If you have legal questions about misdemeanor or felony reckless driving charges in Virginia, it is useful to reach out to a well-established Leesburg reckless driving attorney. The attorneys at Simms Showers, LLP, servicing Leesburg, Winchester, Fairfax, and Manassas, have established credentials in various criminal defense matters, including misdemeanor and felony reckless driving offenses. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.