June 4, 2022

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is a serious offense in Virginia as it is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor under Virginia Code 46.2-868.

If you find yourself holding a ticket for reckless driving, contact Driving Defense Law as you could be facing a criminal record.

18.2-11 Punishment for Conviction of Misdemeanor

Class 1 misdemeanor – confinement in jail for up to a year and a fine of up to $2,500. (either or both)

There are 16 different categories of reckless driving as detailed by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Including:

  1. Speeding more than 85 mph
  2. Speeding 20 mph or more over the limit
  3. Driving too fast for conditions
  4. Racing
  5. Passing or overtaking an ambulance or fire truck
  6. Passing a stopped school bus
  7. Passing on the crest of a hill
  8. Passing at a railroad crossing
  9. Passing two vehicles abreast
  10. Driving two vehicles abreast
  11. Failure to signal
  12. Driving with faulty brakes or improper control
  13. Reckless driving on parking lots
  14. Reckless driving with an obstructed view

What is considered reckless driving under the Virginia Code?

  • Exceeding the speed limit 46.2-862
  • Driving too fast for road or traffic conditions 46.2-861
  • Failing to maintain proper control of the vehicle 46.2-853
  • Racing 46.2-865; 46.2-866; 46.2-867
  • Failing to yield the right of way 46.2-861.1; 46.2-863; 46.2-868.1
  • Failing to give proper signals 46.2-860
  • Driving with an obstructed view 46.2-855
  • Passing a stopped school bus 46.2-859
  • Passing on or at the crest of a grade or curve 46.2-854

A conviction of reckless driving carries with it 6 demerit points and up to 11 years of staying on your record. See the following:

  • Speeding in excess of 85 mph (11 years)
  • Speeding 20 mph or more above the posted speed limit (up to 11 years)
  • Racing (11 years)
  • Passing or overtaking an emergency vehicle (11 years)
  • Passing a school bus (11 years)
  • Passing on the crest of a hill (11 years)
  • Passing at a railroad crossing (11 years)
  • Passing two vehicles abreast (11 years)
  • Driving too fast for conditions (11 years)
  • Failing to give a proper signal (11 years)
  • Faulty brakes/improper control (11 years)
  • Reckless driving in parking lots (11 years)
  • Reckless driving with an obstructed view (11 years)

Virginia Code and Other Information:

46.2-852 Reckless Driving; General Rule – § 46.2-852. Reckless driving; general rule (virginia.gov)

“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.”

46.2-868 Reckless Driving; Penalties – § 46.2-868. Reckless driving; penalties (virginia.gov) 
  • Every person convicted of reckless driving is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  • Every person convicted of reckless driving and was driving without a valid license or as a result of reckless driving caused the death of another is guilty of a Class 6 felony
  • Punishment includes a mandatory minimum fine of $250
18.2-11 Punishment for Conviction of Misdemeanor – § 18.2-11. Punishment for conviction of misdemeanor (virginia.gov)

Class 1 misdemeanor – confinement in jail for up to a year and fine of up to $2,500. (either or both)

Exceeding the Speed Limit 

A person is guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in at a speed of 20 miles per hour or more in the excess of the applicable maximum speed OR in excess of 85 miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.

Failure to Maintain Control

After a car accident a police officer might hand you a citation that charges you with failure to maintain control (reckless driving). Failure to maintain control is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor

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