When can speeding be charged as reckless driving in Virginia?

Speeding Car and SpeedometerSpeeding is a serious traffic offense that can result in large fines and points on your driving record in Virginia. However, in some cases, speeding can be charged as reckless driving, which is a much more serious crime that has more severe penalties and long-term consequences in your life.

When Can You Be Charged With Reckless Driving for Speeding?

One of the most common ways that a person can be charged with reckless driving in Virginia is for speeding. Under Virginia Code § 46.2-862, speeding can be elevated to reckless driving in these two situations:

  • Driving 20 mph or more in excess of the applicable speed limit
  • Driving 80 mph no matter what the posted speed limit is

It is not that difficult to violate this law, especially on the highways around Norfolk, where the speed limit is 70 mph and many drivers are driving at a much faster speed than that.

What Are the Penalties for Reckless Driving?

If you are convicted of reckless driving for speeding, you face harsh penalties. Reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor crime. The punishments include:

  • Fine of up to $2,500
  • Jail sentence of up to 12 months
  • Driver’s license suspension of up to 12 months
  • Six demerit points on your driving record

Because reckless driving is a misdemeanor offense, you would also have a permanent criminal record. This can have long-term term consequences on many aspects of your life, such as:

  • Increased insurance costs
  • Employment
  • Security clearance
  • Additional driver’s license suspension if you accumulate too many demerit points over a relatively short period of time

Contact Us for the Legal Representation You Need

Were you charged with reckless driving for speeding? Our experienced reckless driving attorneys can mount a strong defense for you so that the charges are dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. It is important to understand that you may have good defenses even if you know you were speeding. To find out more about how we can help you, call our Norfolk office to schedule a free consultation today.