Many people are surprised to learn that reckless driving is not “just a ticket” in Virginia. It is actually a class 1 misdemeanor and carries the possibility of up to twelve months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, and suspension of your driving privilege for up to six months. Not only that, but Virginia has 14 different types of reckless driving, all of which have the same sentencing range.
Not all reckless driving convictions result in a jail sentence or a suspended license. A judge’s sentencing decision varies depending on the facts of the case and the defendant’s driving record. Some types of reckless driving, for example passing a school bus with its lights flashing, have a civil equivalent. Sometimes a reckless driving charge can be reduced to a lesser charge, such as improper driving.
Defendants who live far away from the court may sometimes be excused from appearing for their trial if the charge is of a nature that is unlikely to result in a jail sentence and an attorney goes to court on the defendant’s behalf.
If you’ve been charged with any of Virginia’s 14 types of reckless driving, you should consult with an attorney to determine whether your driving behavior was truly reckless, and if so, the type of sentence you are likely to receive from a judge. Jennifer Raimo will give you a free, honest evaluation of the case based on your description of what happened.