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Living recklessly: What constitutes reckless driving?

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2021 | Traffic Offenses |

Most people have been there: You get stuck behind a semi that is going 10 mph slower than everyone else and have to try to figure out how to get around it. Seeing an opportunity, you nip around speedily, quickly passing by the truck well above the speed limit.

At the time, it might seem like a good idea to speed up, even if you break the speed limit, because you have to go over the limit to pass the larger truck. Unfortunately, that swift maneuver and high speed is exactly what an officer looks for.

Speeding becomes reckless driving in Virginia once you reach 20 mph over the limit. Weaving in and out of traffic itself may be reckless if you don’t give other drivers enough space, too. These two issues combined could land you with reckless driving charges and all the penalties that come with them.

Is a reckless driving ticket that big of a deal?

Yes, a reckless driving ticket is serious. Just as a speeding ticket has the potential to impact your insurance rates and other aspects of life, reckless driving accusations can too. Reckless driving infractions are typically misdemeanor charges, but as such, you could face up to a year in jail if the judge believes that you were being particularly malicious with your driving behaviors. You’ll face up to six points on your license and face fines of up to $2,500.

All of these penalties may come at the same time, or you might face just one or two of them. None are anything to scoff at.

What do you need to do if you’re accused of driving recklessly?

If you’re accused of reckless driving, don’t ignore the ticket or feel like you shouldn’t take it seriously. This is a significant infraction that could have a significant impact on your life.

It is worth talking to your attorney about different defenses that may work for you, such as showing that you were speeding less than the officer thought or providing other details to argue for leniency. In the meantime, slow down. Be cautious, and don’t risk getting another ticket.