| Read Time: 4 minutes | Reckless Driving

Virginia comes down hard on those charged with reckless driving. In Virginia, reckless driving is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor, which would create a criminal record if the person is convicted and involve some harsh penalties. So, many people wonder, how many miles over the speed limit is reckless driving in Virginia?

Speeding is taken very seriously by Virginia police officers, so it is important to understand the state’s speeding laws rather than learn the hard way. If you have been charged with reckless driving, you need to protect your rights by contacting an aggressive Virginia reckless driving lawyer. The knowledgeable criminal defense attorney from the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone has helped thousands of clients fight criminal charges in Virginia and can help defend you against reckless driving charges.

View From The Drivers Seat Of A Speeding Car

General Speeding vs. Reckless Speeding

Virginia does not consider all speeding violations to be reckless driving. Reckless driving is when someone’s excessive speeding can endanger people’s lives or their property.

The traffic violation we typically call speeding is charged when someone goes 1 to 19 miles over the speed limit or up to 84 miles per hour. If a police officer catches you going over the speed limit in any area on any highway or street, they can pull you over and ticket you. Driving at the speed limit or under is the easiest way to avoid being cited for a speeding ticket in Virginia.

If a police officer catches you driving over 85 mph or 20 mph (or more) above the speed limit, you may receive a Class 1 misdemeanor summons to court for reckless driving. If you are pulled over for speeding, you should cooperate and be polite to the police officer. A Virginia reckless driving lawyer can help you fight these charges if you received the summons or ticket in error.

Reckless Driving Penalties in Virginia

The penalties for reckless driving in Virginia will depend on several factors. A few of these factors include your driving record and the details of your case. A conviction for reckless driving in Virginia can include penalties like fines, court costs, jail time, and loss of your license.

Reckless driving is a misdemeanor offense, so Virginia does not allow you to pay for a reckless driving ticket right away. You will be required to show up in court to deal with your charges. If the judge finds you guilty of reckless driving, you could face the following penalties:

  • A fine of up to $2,500, though judges can use their judgment based on the usual practices in their jurisdiction and your driving record
  • Up to 12 months of jail time
  • Suspension of your driver’s license from 10 days up to six months
  • The court could assign you a restricted license, allowing you only to travel to specific destinations, such as community service, court appearances, picking up and dropping off children from school, and doctor visits at set times
  • Insurance premiums may be increased depending on your auto insurance company, your official driving record, and your insurance policy
  • Virginia uses a detailed point system where everyone starts at zero points and gains one point annually if they receive no tickets. If a guilty verdict of reckless driving is entered, 6 demerit points could be placed on your record and would remain on your driving record for eleven years.

You will have a criminal record if you are convicted of a misdemeanor in Virginia. Criminal records can cause difficulty in passing background checks for the military, rental applications, work, or school. It is important to have an attorney working on your case prior to going to court to answer your charges.

Can You Get Jail Time for Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving is a misdemeanor in Virginia. Unlike receiving a warning or speeding ticket, reckless driving is criminal in nature and could be punished by jail time. Most judges do not consider jail time when a driver travels 85 or 90 miles per hour.

You may wonder if you could get jail time if you are ticketed for reckless driving in Virginia. Jail time will depend on the details of your case, the local judge, and the prosecutor. Jail time may also vary depending on the county in which your charges were brought.

You will not be arrested for violating speeding laws, but if you were found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol or have any outstanding warrants, you could be arrested on the spot. In some Virginia counties, if you are pulled over for aggressive or reckless driving, you could automatically receive jail time for traveling over 90 miles per hour. For first-time offenses, there is a low likelihood of receiving jail time for a reckless driving charge, but it is critical you have legal counsel when you go to court.

Grey Car Speeding On A Road

When Does a Speeding Case Warrant Hiring an Attorney?

An experienced traffic defense attorney from the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone should be called if you believe you have been wrongly summoned or ticketed for speeding. A call is even more important if you are facing reckless driving charges in Virginia. A dedicated reckless driving lawyer can defend your legal rights.

A Virginia prosecutor’s job is to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you broke a law. Reckless driving charges will not stick if the prosecutor cannot make their case. An experienced attorney can poke holes in the prosecution’s case, instilling doubt about the validity of the charges. 

Michael A. Pignone knows which defenses can be used against Virginia’s reckless driving charges. Our law firm will work closely  with you to discuss the details of your case prior to your court date. You will be equipped with the most effective defense plan to help get your reckless driving charge waived or reduced.

Contact Our Reckless Driving Attorney Today

Speeding is taken very seriously in Virginia and attempting to handle your charges alone is never a good idea. Reach out to our aggressive reckless driving attorney, Michael A. Pignone, using our online form to schedule a consultation.

Author Photo

Michael Pignone

Michael Pignone was raised and has lived in Prince William County since 1972. He attended public schools in the county and graduated high school from Osbourn High in Manassas. Following high school, he attended George Mason University where he graduated with honors from the Business School with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. He was then accepted into, and graduated with honors from, Suffolk Law School in Boston, Massachusetts. Before entering private practice, he clerked for the Prosecutor in the Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

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