What is the penalty for reckless driving in Virginia?For those of you non-Virginia drivers (and for some Virginians), you will be surprised to learn that reckless driving in Virginia is not a simple speeding ticket. Rather, it is a Class I misdemeanor and therefore is in the same category as assaults, DUIs, and petty theft. A conviction for reckless driving includes a potential maximum jail sentence of one (1) year, a $2,500 fine, and possible license suspension.

While (at least in my practice) most reckless driving convictions do not result in jail time, you must consult an attorney if charged. As you might imagine, criminal convictions can have long-lasting, unintended consequences.

What may also surprise you is what constitutes reckless driving in Virginia. Driving 20 mph over the speed limit anywhere in the state could result in a reckless driving ticket. If you are driving 56 in a 35 (a lot easier to do than it sounds), you can be charged with reckless driving. Also, if you drive over 80 mph anywhere in Virginia, you can be pulled over and charged with reckless driving.

Out-of-state drivers may be caught off guard with Virginia's strict driving rules and easily slip. If you have been charged with reckless driving, you need to speak to a Virginia criminal or traffic attorney to help you. Lawyers from other states may not be familiar with Virginia laws, so it is best to hire an attorney from the state you were charged.