Reckless Driving & Speeding
Reckless Driving & Speeding violations can be complex to deal with in Virginia. You might be pulled over for speeding and expect to receive a simple ticket, only to discover that you are actually facing a misdemeanor charge for reckless driving that will appear on your criminal record.
You do not have to live with a criminal record or explaining a misdemeanor conviction to employers. Mark Matney can help you fight the charge so that you can move on with your life.
Mr. Matney will coach you as he prepares your case for court and he will advocate for you on your trial date. Our team will help you understand your legal options and rights. We will answer all of your questions and address all of your concerns so that you are prepared for your day in court. You will be involved and informed throughout the process.
There are several categories of Reckless Driving in addition to Speed:
Driving Without a License or Driving While Suspended / Revoked
Passing a Stopped School Bus
Failure to Obey a Highway Sign
Running a stop sign
Failure to yield
1. What should I do to prepare for my case?
a. Obtain a copy of your driving transcript from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
b. If your DMV record shows a negative point balance, then compete a DMV approved driving course.
c. Have your speedometer calibrated if speed is an element of your case.
d. Obtain the full names and addresses of any witnesses who are involved in your case.
e. Obtain copies of any medical records related to your case.
2. What is the maximum sentence if the court finds me guilty of reckless driving?
Reckless driving is a class one misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of twelve months in jail and/or a fine of $2,500.00. (Virginia Code, section 18.2-11). The judge may also suspend your driver’s license.
3. Do I face any active jail time for reckless driving?
In the Hampton Roads area, the primary reasons for active jail time in reckless driving cases are: speeding above 89 miles per hour, bad prior driving record, lack of cooperation with the police, and accident cases.
4. How long will a reckless driving conviction stay on my record?
As a misdemeanor, a reckless driving conviction will remain on your Virginia criminal record permanently. However, reckless driving will be removed from your DMV record after eleven years.
5. How many demerit points will the DMV assign me for a reckless driving charge?
DMV assigns six demerit points for any reckless driving charge.
7. What is the general rule for reckless driving?
The Virginia Code provides that, “[i]rrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving.” (Virginia Code, section 46.2-852).
8. Can a reckless driving charge be reduced or amended to a less serious charge?
Lawyers typically try to have reckless driving charges reduced to improper driving. The judge has discretion to amend the charge to improper driving when the poor driving behavior is less severe. The advantages of improper driving include that it is a traffic infraction instead of a misdemeanor, it carries fewer DMV demerit points, and the maximum fine is $500.00.
For reckless driving due to speeding, it is sometimes possible to reduce the charge to the traffic offense of speeding. This usually requires a good driving record and a speed that is close to the threshold for reckless driving.