What Constitutes Reckless Driving in Virginia?

What Constitutes Reckless Driving in Virginia?

What is Reckless Driving? If you’ve recently received a ticket for reckless driving in the state of Virginia, you may be curious about the charges, what exactly constitutes reckless driving, and how it is likely to be handled in court.

What is General Reckless Driving?

While there are a significant number of laws that establish when you are reckless driving in Virginia, the general reckless driving provision can be found in Virginia Code Section 46.2-852. According to that section, 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 is guilty of reckless driving.  The way courts interpret this provision is not always clear, and can be explained and applied by an experienced attorney.

Specific Reckless Driving Provisions

In addition to the above, there are a significant number of additional code sections that can establish a charge of reckless driving against you.  These include the following:

  • Passing or overtaking an emergency vehicle while it is operating its lights or siren (§ 46.2-829);
  • Driving a vehicle that is not under proper control or has faulty brakes (§ 46.2-853);
  • Improperly overtaking and passing a vehicle while approaching the crest of a grade or a curve on a highway (§ 46.2-854);
  • Driving a vehicle that is so loaded, or when there are in the front seat such number of persons as to cause an obstructed view or interference with control of the vehicle (§ 46.2-855);
  • On smaller highways, passing or attempting to pass two side-by-side vehicles going the same direction (§ 46.2-856);
  • Driving side-by-side in a single lane going in the same direction (§ 46.2-857);
  • Passing or overtaking a vehicle while at a railroad crossing (§ 46.2-858);
  • Improperly passing from any direction a stopped school bus (§ 46.2-859);
  • Not giving an adequate or timely signal when turning, slowing down, or stopping (§ 46.2-860);
  • Driving too fast for road, weather, or other conditions (§ 46.2-861);
  • Driving more than 20 miles per hour above the speed limit on the highway or driving more than 80 miles per hour on the highway (§ 46.2-862);
  • Not properly stopping at an entrance to a highway from a side road (§ 46.2-863);
  • Operating a motor vehicle in a way to endanger life, limb, or property on premises open to the public, parking lots, and highways under construction (§ 46.2-864); and
  • Engaging in car racing between two or more cars on highways, driveways, or on the premises of locations that are open to the public (§ 46.2-865).

Penalties for Reckless Driving

The penalties for reckless driving are found in Code of Virginia Section 46.2-868. Reckless driving is treated as a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries the potential for $2,500 in fines, six months of driver’s license suspension, and 12 months in jail.

Are You Facing Charges of Reckless Driving?

If you or a loved one is facing charges of reckless driving, contact the law firm of Petrovich and Walsh. Centrally located in Fairfax, our attorneys have more than 40 years of experience providing legal defense of criminal and traffic charges for residents of Northern Virginia.

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