Virginia Man Charged For Reckless Driving & Child Endangerment
A Virginia man faces charges for reckless driving and child endangerment after causing a crash that killed his infant child, according to an article by FOX affiliate WFXR.
This incident occurred on July 29. The Virginia man was allegedly driving with a two-year-old child riding on his lap, without a seatbelt. The man apparently ran into a traffic pole and then collided with two other vehicles. The child passed away several weeks later as a result of their injuries from the crash.
As a result of this incident, the Virginia man faces criminal charges for reckless driving and child endangerment. To understand the significance of these charges, the following sections will explore Virginia laws and penalties for both offenses.
Reckless Driving Under Virginia Law
Code of Virginia Section 46.2-852 furnishes the blanket rule against reckless driving. Under this section, a person commits reckless driving if they:
- Operate a motor vehicle in a reckless or dangerous fashion; and
- Create a risk of property damage, physical injury, or death based on their driving conduct.
Code of Virginia Section 46.2-868 provides the penalty for reckless driving. Under this section, reckless driving is usually charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor. This type of misdemeanor in Virginia can result in a jail sentence of 12 months and criminal fines up to $2,500.
That being said, Section 46.2-868 also outlines a Class 6 felony version of reckless driving. The felony version of this offense applies when a person commits reckless driving on a suspended license and causes a fatality. This type of felony in Virginia can result in a prison sentence between 12 months and five years as well as criminal fines up to $2,500.
Child Endangerment Under Virginia Law
Code of Virginia Section 46.2-852 establishes the laws against child endangerment. Under this section, there are two different versions of child endangerment in Virginia.
On a basic level, it is unlawful for any parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care and safety of a minor child to:
- Commit a willful act or an omission in the care of a child; and
- Demonstrate a reckless disregard for human life through gross, wanton, and culpable conduct.
This version of child endangerment is typically charged as a Class 6 felony in Virginia, punishable as explained in the previous section.
More seriously, it is illegal for any parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care and safety of a minor child to:
- Commit a willful act, an omission, or a refusal in the care of a child; and
- Cause or permit serious injury to the life or health of such child.
This version of child endangerment is typically charged as a Class 4 felony in Virginia. This type of felony in Virginia can result in a prison sentence between two and 10 years well as criminal fines up to $100,000.
Contact Us for Help
If you need legal assistance with reckless driving or child endangerment in Virginia, we can help. Contact the Leesburg reckless driving attorneys at Simms Showers LLP for help today.