What are the Virginia reckless driving penalties?

What is reckless driving in Virginia?

Reckless driving is considered as a serious criminal offense in Virginia. The legislators in Virginia have designed strict rules to tackle safety of the people on Virginia’s highways. Reckless driving is any careless act of the driver, which can endanger lives or damage any property in Virginia. Virginia reckless driving penalties are harsh as it is considered a serious traffic violation.

Virginia reckless driving penalties

Reckless driving is generally categorized as a class 1 misdemeanor, however, in rare and extreme cases, one can even be charged with the felony: According to the legislation, the common Virginia reckless driving penalties are:

  1. Class 1 misdemeanor
    1. Heavy fines: If a person has committed reckless driving in Virginia, he is mostly subjected to heavy fines of up to $2500.
    2. Jail time: If you are convicted of a serious reckless driving ticket you might even face imprisonment for a maximum period of 12 months.
    3. Suspension of driving license: The driving license of a reckless driver may be suspended for a period of 6 months
    4. Negative demerit points: The department of the motor vehicle in Virginia maintains the driving records and driving points of each driver. A reckless driving ticket might display a negative from 3 -6 demerit points in your driving transcript
  2. Felony charges in Virginia:

You might face felony charges in case of a reckless driving ticket if:

  1. You have committed a huge careless mistake, which has resulted in the death of some innocent victim or caused him severe injuries. The penalty for a felony is much harsher than Class 1 misdemeanor.
  2. If you are driving with a suspended license

The general punishment for felony charges is:

  1. Up to 5 years imprisonment
  2. A fine of $2500.
  3. Suspension of the driving license for 1 year

Charges of texting while driving:

It is essential for a driver to stay attentive while driving, therefore, all kind of distractions, such as attending any phone calls, texting someone, or even listening to the radio is prohibited by the law. The legislators believe that such acts of a driver distract their attention from the road which can cause accidents.  Although, Texting or emailing while driving has a separate traffic violation penalty in the code section: 46.2 – 1078.1, but the driver can face both – traffic violation and Virginia reckless driving penalties. The fine for reckless driving due to diverted attention is not huge.

The long-term impact on the life of the offender:

  1. Hiked insurance premiums: Car insurance companies maintain all the record of each driver and decide the insurance premium on the basis of the merit points. If a person gets demerit point he is subjected to hiked insurance premiums
  2. Long-term record of reckless driving in the driving transcript of the driver
  3. Driver’s personal and professional life is disturbed
  4. Increased dependency on public mode of transport in case of suspension of license

Loss of job in case of imprisonment or suspension of license

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