In the Commonwealth of Virginia, reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor. A speeding ticket in Virginia might be a normal speeding charge, but it may also be a reckless driving indictment. A reckless driving charge there can result in harsh penalties such as 12 months of jail time, a fine of up to $2500, six demerit points on the driving record and suspension of the driver’s license for up to six months.
Reckless driving tickets are issued in Virginia for speeding under the Virginia Code 46.2-862 which states:
“A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.”
This means that going over 80mph at any time (even if the speed limit is 65 mph) or going over 20mph than the speed limit could get you charged with reckless driving.
Often, people confuse this ticket they got issued in Virginia as a standard speeding ticket and considered that they could annul this ticket by only paying the fine. However, it can be a reckless driving charge. It is therefore important to take a good look at the ticket to make sure which type of ticket you have been issued since reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If the ticket has “RD” written on it, you’re charged with reckless driving. Exceeding 10-19 mph than the speed limit is considered speeding, and it is just a traffic infraction. A normal speeding ticket doesn’t pose any harsh penalties such as imprisonment or driver’s license suspension. The fine that results from this ticket is relatively lenient, that is $6 for every mph over the speed limit. However, speeding can result in a significant hike in your insurance premiums.
Another speeding-related charge in the Commonwealth of Virginia is an improper driving conviction. If you get charged with reckless driving, you can convince the judges and get your charge reduced to improper driving with the help of an experienced attorney. This will ensure that you don’t get a permanent criminal record that isn’t expungable.
The Virginia statute regarding speeding also includes demerit points. Every driver issued with a new license in the state starts with zero points. Every traffic infraction results in negative points and a positive point is given at the end of the year if the driver did not commit any offense. An improver driving charge can result in 3 negative points, a standard speeding ticket can result in 4 demerit points, and 6 negative demerit points are added in case of reckless driving. A lot of negative points in a short period of time can result in a requirement to enroll in a driving improvement clinic and worst cases, the driver’s license can also get revoked.