Driving is a common factor in our lives. Although speeding and reckless driving may appear similar in some instances, they are different in many ways. The major difference between the two is that being charged with reckless driving is much more serious offense than getting speeding tickets.
In Virginia, driving 1 miles/hour or more over the specified speed limit is termed speeding. This traffic infraction mostly comes with a maximum fine of $250 and the application of negative points as another penalty on your Virginia driving record as follows:
- 3 points for exceeding the speed limit by 1 to 9 miles per hour
- 4 points for exceeding the speed limit by 10 to 19 miles per hour
- 6 points for exceeding the speed limit by 20 or more miles per hour
On the other hand, reckless driving is a criminal misdemeanor carrying a maximum punishment of a $2500 as fine, 12 months of incarceration, and license suspension for up to six months. Besides these, six negative points are also applied to your Virginia driving record when being charged with reckless driving.
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, you are charged with reckless driving offense when you drive twenty miles/hour over the maximum speed limit, or driving over eighty miles/hour regardless of the maximum speed limit, or driving your vehicle in such a manner which endangers the limb, life or belonging for any individual (including the driver). Consequently, even when you were merely speeding, some of your speeding acts are defined as Reckless Driving.
You can also be charged with reckless driving in Virginia when you:
- Pass an emergency vehicle with its lights on,
- Pass a stopped school vehicle which is loading or unloading passengers,
- Drive with faulty brakes,
- Drive too fast to be harmless for life, lime or possession of a person (including the driver) in the available weather conditions, or
- Drag racing
A catch-all is another category of reckless driving in Virginia which is referred to as ‘general reckless driving.’ This occurs when the officer simply shows that you were driving in a horrible manner which could endanger his or her life, limb or belonging.
As being convicted of reckless driving in Virginia, can put you behind bars and suspend your license besides fining you. The more serious your case’s circumstances and facts are, the more severely you will be penalized. Hence, failing to take reckless driving charges in Virginia seriously is a big mistake that could affect your life in many ways, like employment, insurance premium, and driving records for several years.
You need to know that license suspension in Virginia for conviction of reckless driving is not mandatory all the times. It is court’s responsibility to decide whether suspension of your license is appropriate or not upon taking into account the circumstances and facts of your case.
If you have been accused of reckless driving, you should have a well-versed lawyer who can understand your circumstances, provide you the personal representation you deserve, knows how to do well with your matter, and support your case the best way possible.