Loudoun County Police Search Ongoing for Reckless Driver in Stolen RV
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate an apparent reckless driving incident, after an unknown perpetrator drove a smoking RV through Sterling, according to an article by the Loudoun Times-Mirror.
Law enforcement received reports of this incident on Sunday, August 2nd at approximately 2 a.m. The reports indicated that a person was driving an RV that was smoking or on fire in a dangerous manner.
The sheriff’s deputies arrived at the 46000 block of McClellan Way in response to these reports. They located the missing RV shortly thereafter. It was unoccupied and on fire at the time. The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office came to the scene to extinguish the flames and provide preliminary analysis.
While the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office proceeds with the investigation and search for the perpetrator, it seems like a proper moment to review reckless driving laws and penalties in Virginia.
What are the Virginia Laws Against Reckless Driving?
The overarching rule against reckless driving appears in Code of Virginia Section 46.2-852. Under this section, reckless driving occurs when a person operates a motor vehicle in a dangerous fashion that imperils other people or property. The language in this section is broad enough to criminalize a wide range of dangerous behaviors on Virginia roads and highways.
On top of this overarching rule, Virginia law provides for numerous types of specific driving behaviors that qualify as reckless driving. For example, the types of driving actions that are considered reckless driving in Virginia include, but are not limited to:
- Driving a vehicle with faulty brakes or without proper control (Code of Virginia Section 46.2-853);
- Passing a stopped school bus that is picking up or dropping off passengers (Code of Virginia Section 46.2-859); or
- Driving unreasonably fast for traffic, highway, or weather conditions (Code of Virginia Section 46.2-861).
How Does Virginia Punish Reckless Driving?
The punishment for reckless driving appears in Code of Virginia Section 46.2-868. Under this section, reckless driving is typically punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted, the offender can face a jail sentence of a maximum of 12 months and criminal fines up to $2,500.
At the extreme end, reckless driving can become a Class 6 felony. The felony version applies when a reckless driver without a valid license also causes the death of another person. In these situations, a conviction can result in a prison sentence between one and five years, as well as criminal fines up to $2,500.
Furthermore, Code of Virginia Section 46.2-392 mandates license suspension or revocation for reckless driving offenses. The applicable suspension or revocation period can fluctuate between 10 days and six months.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you need legal help with reckless driving charges in Virginia, it can be extremely fruitful to speak with a knowledgeable Winchester reckless driving attorney. The attorneys at Simms Showers LLP combine extensive legal experience with a demonstrated emphasis on criminal defense, including reckless driving charges. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.