Why was I given a ticket for Reckless Driving in Virginia, when all I was doing was speeding?
Virginia laws define several specific acts as Reckless Driving. One of those laws defines exceeding the speed limit by 20 mph or more, or driving at more than 80 mph regardless of the speed limit. Therefore, even though you were only speeding, by definition, some acts of speeding are defined as Reckless Driving in Virginia.
How does Reckless Driving differ from a simple Speeding ticket in Virginia?
In Virginia, Speeding is a non-criminal Traffic Infraction for which the only possible punishment is the imposition of a fine of up to $250. On the other hand, in Virginia, Reckless Driving is a Class 1 Misdemeanor Criminal Offense for which the possible punishments include a fine of up to $2,500, a jail sentence of up to 12 months and a license suspension of up to 6 months.
Are you saying that I might have my license suspended or be sentenced to jail for driving too fast in Virginia?
Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. If you are convicted of Reckless Driving in Virginia, in addition to being fined, you are at risk of being sentenced to serve time in jail and having your license suspended. The more serious the facts and circumstances of the case, the more likely it is that these sanctions will be imposed. The failure to take a Virginia Reckless Driving charge seriously, is a mistake that could impact things like your life, job, driving record and insurance premium for many years.
If I am convicted of Reckless Driving in Virginia, is there a mandatory license suspension?
No. If you are convicted of Reckless Driving in Virginia, the possible punishments include the possibility of a license suspension - but the license suspension in Virginia is not mandatory. The Court will decide whether a license suspension is appropriate considering the facts and circumstances of the case.
If I am convicted of Reckless Driving in Virginia and the Court thinks a license suspension is appropriate, how long could the suspension be?
If you are convicted of Reckless Driving in Virginia and given the facts and circumstances of your case the Court determines a license suspension is appropriate, your license could be suspended for up to six (6) months.
Additional resources provided by the author
For more information on this subject, or for answers to other questions about Virginia law, please visit www.TheWilsonLawFirm.org.