Updated on August 12th, 2021 at 06:31 pm
Being pulled over and ticketed for speeding in Virginia mostly means one of two things. Either it was regular speeding, which is classified as an infraction, or you are being charged with reckless driving, a class 1 misdemeanor that potentially brings harsher consequences. If it is Reckless Driving –How Much is a Reckless Speeding Ticket in Virginia?
The average fine ranges from $300-$1,000, even though the max fine is $2500. The fine amount is established according to several factors:
- Your speed
- The number of occupants in the vehicle
- The amount of traffic on the roadway when you were stopped
- Whether persons under 18 years of age were in the vehicle
- The court where your case was heard
- The experience of your lawyer in this jurisdiction
- The prosecutor in the case
- The law enforcement officer writing your ticket; and
- The Lawyer you choose to help you.
The average cost is one thing, but you need to understand how the total financial consequence amount is reached. Read on to find out more about how the fine is considered:
Speeding Vs. Reckless Driving
A speeding ticket in Virginia is classified as an infraction. Reckless driving, 20 mph or more over the speed limit or driving in excess of 85 mph, is a Class 1 Misdemeanor.
Code Section 46.2-862. Exceeding speed limit.
A person is guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of 20 miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of 85 miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.
Code Section 46.2-852, Actual Reckless Driving
The specific section of Virginia Code for reckless driving is 46.2-852:
“Irrespective 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.”
How Much Is A Ticket For Reckless Driving In Virginia?
The three main statutes covering reckless driving in Virginia (46.2-852, -853, -862) do not have predetermined fines. Code Section 46.2-862 is not prepayable as it does not have a predetermined fine.
Speeds over 85mph accrue the highest fines. The maximum penalty of $2,500 is rarely handed down, but circumstances are aggravated by greater excessive speeds.
Having multiple passengers, or minors as passengers can cause a larger fine. Since endangerment to life and limb defines actual reckless driving, endangering minors and other passengers makes your case worse in the eyes of many Virginia judges.
Another factor is how much traffic was around you. If the road is busy, the consequences to you may be more severe.
Whether the court uses a prosecutor will also be a big factor, as some prosecutors actively seeking to levy a greater fine.
What Driving Offenses Are Considered Reckless In Virginia?
Virginia has the most severe consequences for reckless driving and facts that would not support a reckless driving charge in other states does so in Virginia. For that reason, many who are pulled over and ticketed mistakenly believe what they been issued a routine traffic ticket, not a criminal citation.
Driving Offenses Considered Reckless in Virginia are:
- Diving a vehicle with faulty or improperly calibrated brakes,
- Driving an overloaded vehicle with an obstructed view or controls,
- Failing to give proper signals,
- Illegally passing on a crest of a hill, at a railroad crossing, two vehicles at once, a stopped school bus, and more
- Drag racing
- Failing to yield
What Are The Penalties For Reckless Driving In Virginia?
Driving recklessly is classified as a class 1 misdemeanor. If charged with reckless driving, an individual could face the following penalties:
- Revocation or suspension of one’s driver’s license for up to six months,
- A $2,500 maximum fine,
- A one year maximum jail sentence,
- Six-point demerit points onto their driving record that will stay there for 11 years
A criminal conviction is permanent.
Do The Same Reckless Driving Charges Apply To Out Of State Residents?
Yes. Out-of-state drivers will be treated the same as Virginia residents with reckless driving charges. There is, however, some possible difference in the final result of your case. Depending on your home state’s laws, you may not receive points on your license or restrictions on your driving privileges.
The standard procedure is for the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to report the case and its result to your home state authorities. Your home-state DMV will then decide whether or not to apply the charges to your record in that state.
Should I Plead Guilty To Reckless Driving In Virginia?
Absolutely not. It seems like the logical thing to do at first, but you have to remember the consequences of being convicted of a class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. While you might not see a great deal of difference and you can afford the fine, the charge will be a permanent criminal conviction.
Such a blemish on your record can have profound consequences on your future insurance costs, security clearances, study and employment opportunities, and more. Furthermore, it’s not possible to simply pay the fine by mail and move on. You will be expected to appear in court on a given date unless you have made other arrangements with your reckless driving attorneys in Virginia.
How do you get a reckless driving ticket reduced or dismissed in Virginia?
If you’re someone who’s on the road a lot, it can be easy to make a mistake. Unfortunately, being charged with reckless driving can lead to a big negative mark on your driving record.
Since the charges can result in jail time, fines, and suspension of your license, you don’t want to leave the outcome to chance.
So how do you get a reckless driving ticket dismissed in Virginia?
This answer depends on a number of things, like the factors we discussed earlier. We’ll cover what the penalties are and various ways you can have the reckless driving charge reduced or dismissed.
What Factors Matter the Most to Reduce or Get Out of a Reckless Driving Charge
When the judge reviews your case, he or she will be looking for the reason in which you were cited for reckless driving. Based on the officer’s report, they may have listed a number of reasons such as:
- Running a red light
- Road rage
- Driving distracted such as texting
- Following too close to another car
- Failure to turn on headlights
In the state of Virginia, speeding is the most common reason for receiving a reckless driving ticket. Typically, this means driving over 20 mph over the speed limit or driving over 85 mph.
However, the judge may be lenient on you depending on a few factors:
- You have a good driving record
- You agree to enroll in a driver’s education course
- You agree to participate in community service
- You were just slightly ahead of the reckless driving speed limit
Virginia law lets the judge reduce the reckless driving charge into an improper driving charge.
How Can I Minimize the Impact of a Reckless Driving Ticket in Virginia?
With the experience of Attorney Bob Keefer on your side, you can minimize the potential impact of a reckless driving ticket. The skilled team at Keefer Law Firm will be able to look into your case’s details and use them to negotiate a lesser charge or have your case dismissed altogether.
The difference between an infraction and a class 1 misdemeanor is of great significance to you. Reduction to an infraction like speeding or improper driving keeps you from having a criminal record based on this charge.