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When does speeding become reckless driving?

On Behalf of | May 3, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Did you know that there is a point when speeding may turn into a reckless driving charge? It’s possible to face charges for reckless driving if you are speeding at 20 mph or more over the posted speed limit.

This is a new change that went into place on July 1, 2020, so if you didn’t think that you could face reckless driving charges for speeding in the past, you could now.

There is a second time when a speeding ticket could lead to reckless driving charges, too, based on the Code of Virginia. The second time is when you go in excess of 85 mph. It doesn’t matter what the speed limit is…if you go over 85 mph, the officer may report you for reckless driving.

What if there is no speed limit posted?

If there is no posted speed limit, some people assume that they can travel at any speed. By law, you cannot exceed 85 mph in Virginia without facing a reckless driving charge regardless of the posted speed limit, so you should keep that in mind.

However, there is something else to remember. Even without posting the speed limit, there are speed limits on all roadways in Virginia. For most highways, you’re looking at a speed limit of 55 mph. Trucks may be limited to 45 mph.

In residential areas, it’s normal for the speed limit to be 25 or 35 mph. Unpaved roads are usually 35 mph.

If you don’t know for sure what speed a road should be, the typical speed on an unmarked roadway will be 55 mph.

Are there any good defenses for reckless driving charges or speeding?

There are some times when you may be able to defend against these charges. You may be able to argue that you were traveling at below 85 mph, for example, but that the speedometer was reading incorrectly. You could state that you were keeping up with traffic or were forced to speed because of someone tailgating you.

You have options to help you defend yourself. Take some time to review the case and learn more about your legal options before you accept a ticket or charge.


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