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How serious is a reckless driving conviction in Virginia?

To many, reckless driving seems like a minor offense. Most people believe that a conviction on such a charge will not lead to any significant consequences. Although reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor in the state of Virginia, a conviction on this charge is more severe than you may think.

Understanding more about these charges can help you avoid major complications and better strategize a defense.

What constitutes reckless driving?

If you look up the state’s legal code, you will find a laundry list of actions behind the wheel that constitute improper or reckless driving. Examples include:

  • Failure to maintain vehicle control
  • Passing in a curve
  • Failure to provide proper signals
  • Racing vehicles
  • Helping others race (aiding or abetting)
  • Driving aggressively
  • Driving too fast
  • Exceeding speed limits
  • Passing stopped school buses

The list above contains only a few of the driving behaviors that fall under the reckless and improper driving legal code.

What are the penalties for a reckless driving conviction?

On the legal side of the issue, a conviction for reckless driving will lead to a fine of at least $250 and the possibility of other penalties. It will be up to a court to decide all elements of your punishment if convicted. In most cases, the judge will examine the details of your arrest and your alleged actions before handing down a sentence.

If you are a professional (doctor, business owner, etc.) or a college student, you could also face other consequences after a reckless driving conviction. Your business or professional practice could suffer as well as your reputation in the community. If you are a college student or plan to enroll, a conviction could shut down your plans altogether.

Avoiding a conviction is the key. Instead of assuming you will face few consequences if convicted, do your best to create a solid defense that can protect your future.

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