Virginia Teenager Charged with Reckless Driving
A 17-year-old teenager faces reckless driving charges after causing a fatal car accident in Bristow, Virginia, reported WTOP.
The accident in question occurred on July 24th at approximately 7:30 p.m near the intersection of Rollins Ford Road and Estate Manor Drive. At that time and place, the teenager was traveling in the southbound lane of Estate Manor Drive. After halting at a stop sign, the teenager proceeded to drive into the intersection.
Immediately thereafter, the teenager crashed into a vehicle driving eastbound. The driver of that vehicle — a 67-year-old woman from Centreville, Virginia — suffered severe injuries from the crash. First responders transported the woman to a nearby hospital. But medical professionals were unable to save her life. The woman died from her injuries on August 4th.
The teenager also received medical treatment for minor injuries. Then the authorities charged the teenager with reckless driving. While the teenager awaits his fate in criminal court, it seems like a valuable opportunity to review reckless driving laws and penalties in Virginia.
What are the Reckless Driving Laws in Virginia?
The general definition of reckless driving appears in Code of Virginia Section 46.2-852. More broadly, reckless driving occurs when a driver endangers the life, limb or property of any person.
In addition to the general definition above, there are also specific types of reckless driving under Virginia law. For example, the specific types of reckless driving in Virginia include:
- Driving a vehicle with defective brakes (Code of Virginia Section 46.2-853);
- Passing another vehicle at a crest or on a curve (Code of Virginia Section 46.2-854); or
- Operating a vehicle with an obstructed view or impaired control (Code of Virginia Section 46.2-855).
At this point, it is crucial to note that the list above is merely a sampling. There are many other types of reckless driving under Virginia law.
What are the Penalties for Reckless Driving in Virginia?
The penalties for reckless driving appear in Code of Virginia Section 46.2-868. In most circumstances, reckless driving constitutes a Class 1 misdemeanor. The usual penalties in Virginia for a Class 1 misdemeanor include imprisonment for 12 months and a maximum fine of $2,500. If the offender uses a cell phone or a similar device while driving recklessly, there is a mandatory minimum fine of $250.
In certain cases, reckless driving can become a felony crime in Virginia. If the offender commits reckless driving with a suspended or revoked license and causes the death of another person — it is a Class 6 felony. The usual penalties in Virginia for a Class 6 felony include imprisonment for 12 to 60 months and a maximum fine of $2,500.
Let Us Help You Today
If you are facing reckless driving charges in Virginia, it can be immensely helpful to speak with a dependable criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Simms Showers LLP have far-reaching experience representing criminal defendants in Virginia, including reckless driving offenses. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.