Can You Go to Jail for Reckless Driving in Virginia?

Reckless driving changes from a simple traffic violation to a criminal offense, making it a Class One misdemeanor. This level of misdemeanor can lead to a maximum fine of $2,500 and the chance of jail time for up to 12 months, highlighting its seriousness. Charges and convictions pose a significant issue. If you face consequences for reckless driving, contact a local and experienced traffic attorney today.

can you go to jail for reckless driving in virginia

The Highest Penalty for Reckless Driving

If found guilty and given the maximum sentence by law, reckless driving in Virginia carries the highest penalty, a Class One misdemeanor. This includes a fine of $2,500 and up to 12 months in jail. Virginia law divides offenses into misdemeanors and felonies. According to Virginia law, reckless driving falls under the Class One misdemeanor category. Anyone can look up the law to understand what constitutes a Class One misdemeanor and the maximum penalties. This could mean facing up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine, the highest possible penalty in Virginia.

Virginia Takes Reckless Driving Very Seriously

In Virginia, reckless driving is a criminal offense that is more serious than other traffic violations. Often, you can pay fines for regular traffic violations ahead of time without going to court, and they only slightly affect your driving record with a few points. However, in Virginia, reckless driving requires a court appearance on a specific date.

The main consequences happen after the court date, making it crucial for those ticketed to seek legal advice and representation. During the hearing, a trial may occur where the officer and the person ticketed both testify, and the judge makes a decision.

Following this, the person will face a fine and court costs. The DMV may also add demerit points to their record. Insurance rates could also increase. If convicted, the reckless driving charge will also appear on their criminal record.

Court Appearance for Reckless Driving Charges

In cases of reckless driving, the accused individual is required to appear in court. If they have a lawyer, the lawyer can represent them, and they might not need to be present. If they don’t have a lawyer, they must attend their scheduled court dates. Missing a court date could result in an additional charge for failing to appear.

The Seriousness of Reckless Driving 

Courts view reckless driving more seriously than many realize. While some criminal charges might seem understandable, judges and prosecutors often react strongly to particularly bad driving.

Sometimes, they might understand the reasons behind it, but often, they can’t, leading to the judge giving a long talk about the laws and procedures to prevent such driving. It’s important to take the penalties for reckless driving in Virginia seriously. To prepare, consult with a professional Virginia traffic lawyer from Bississo Law, P.C.