What is reckless driving?
The act of carelessly driving and causing potential harm to any human life or any property is deemed as reckless driving, by the legislation of Virginia. Virginia State is known for dealing strictly with their laws of driving. As reckless driving is considered as a major traffic violation, therefore, it is considered as a criminal offense. Generally, reckless driving is deemed as a class 1 misdemeanor but in extreme cases, the court can even charge for a felony. Reckless driving Virginia felony charges are not only high but they are also followed by other harsh penalties.
Types of Criminal records in Virginia
In Virginia, there are three major types of criminal offenses.
- Violation of the traffic, also known as Traffic infraction: Virginia deals with Traffic infraction less strictly. Although they are reflected on your driving records against your driving license. However, these violations do not carry heavy fines, imprisonment or serious criminal offense charges.
- Misdemeanors: Reckless driving is generally treated class one misdemeanor. Class one misdemeanors are a serious criminal offense which can even lead to face potential jail time. A person faced with misdemeanor charges are even subjected to heavy fines.
- Felony: felony charges are only placed in very serious criminal offenses and it carries many harsh penalties. The potential jail period for a felony charge is more than one year.
Reckless driving Virginia felony charges
Reckless driving is not categorized as a felony, however, if a person has committed one of the following offense, he will be charged with a felony:
- If his driving license is suspended for a previous traffic violation and yet he is caught again driving with that suspended driving license.
- If his driving has caused any potential damage to any living thing, such as serious injuries, causing lifetime disability.
- If his reckless driving has resulted in the death of an innocent victim.
Reckless driving Virginia, felony Penalties
Generally, a reckless driving ticket may lead to class one misdemeanor, leading to imprisonment for up to 12 months, a heavy fine up to $2500 along with the court’s fee and suspension of the driving license for a maximum period of 6 months. But if an individual is charged with a much serious offense, such as causing the death of an innocent victim, he will be subjected to reckless driving Virginia felony charges which carry hefty and serious punishments.
According to the law, reckless driving Virginia felony charges are applied under the following circumstances: Section 46.2-865.1:
- “Any person who, while engaging in a race in violation of § 46.2-865 in a manner so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life:
- Causes serious bodily injury to another person who is not involved in the violation of § 46.2-865 is guilty of a Class 6 felony; or
- Causes the death of another person is guilty of a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than one nor more than 20 years, shall one year of which be a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment.
Upon conviction, the court shall suspend the driver’s license of such person for a period of not less than one year nor more than three years, and shall order the surrender of the license to be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of § 46.2-398.”