Surveying Three Consequences of Reckless Driving in Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia prohibits reckless driving and other forms of dangerous behavior on public roads and highways. As detailed in Code of Virginia Section 46.2-852, a person commits reckless driving if they operate a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers other people or property.
Under Virginia law, there are misdemeanor and felony versions of reckless driving, as provided in Code of Virginia Section 46.2-868. In most circumstances, reckless driving is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. It can, however, can become a Class 6 felony in narrowly construed cases. More specifically, the alleged offender must commit reckless driving on a suspended or revoked license and cause the death of another person.
Having covered the basics of reckless driving in Virginia, it is time to examine the three potential consequences for this type of criminal offense.
- Jail/Prison Sentence
The most severe aspect of Virginia penalties for reckless driving is possible confinement in jail or prison. For misdemeanor reckless driving offenses, there is a maximum sentence of 12 months in county jail. Based on the severity of the offense, the actual jail sentence could be shorter than the one-year maximum.
For the felony version of reckless driving, the offender can face a prison sentence instead of confinement in county jail. It can fluctuate between one and five years, depending on the severity of the underlying offense.
- Criminal Fines
On top of a jail or prison sentence, reckless driving also includes the possibility of a hefty criminal fine. For both misdemeanor and felony reckless driving offenses, there is a maximum fine of $2,500. The criminal fine is varies based on the severity of the underlying offense, increasing for felony versions and decreasing for misdemeanor versions.
- License Suspension/Revocation
In addition to a jail or prison sentence and criminal fines, reckless driving includes mandatory driver’s license suspension in Virginia. For misdemeanor reckless driving offenses, the applicable suspension period can fluctuate from 60 days to six months, as detailed in Code of Virginia Section 46.2-393.
The suspension period increases for felony reckless driving offenses. In these cases, there is a maximum of 12 months of driver’s license suspension, as explained in Code of Virginia Section 46.2-396.
Contact Us Today for Professional Help
If you need legal assistance with reckless driving or other criminal acts prohibited by the Virginia Criminal Code, it can be exceedingly beneficial to reach out to an accomplished criminal defense attorney. The Winchester reckless driving attorneys at Simms Showers LLP bring more than 140 years of combined legal experience to the table for their clients. In addition, the attorneys at Simms Showers feature a long-standing focus on criminal defense, including representation against charges of reckless driving and many other criminal acts. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.