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Can you be charged with reckless driving if you’re not speeding?

Sometimes driving on highways in Virginia can be a real hassle, especially during a busy rush hour. It may be tempting to try to speed, or in some other fashion try to get to our destinations quicker. However, if doing so puts the safety of others in danger, it could constitute the crime of reckless driving.

In Virginia, if a motorist drives recklessly or at a speed, regardless of the speed limit, that puts the life or property of another in danger, then that motorist may be charged with reckless driving. This means, for example, if a motorist is driving too fast for weather conditions and in a manner that could cause an accident that would injure another person, then that motorist may be charged with reckless driving even if the driver was driving under the posted speed limit.

The penalties for reckless driving vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense. Under Virginia law, reckless driving is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. However, if a person commits reckless driving under a suspended or revoked driver’s license for a moving violation and, by doing so, causes the death of another, this is considered a Class 6 felony. In addition, all those convicted of reckless driving who were also using a handheld personal communication device when the offense occurred will be fined at least $250.

As this shows, it is better to be a prudent driver and respect the safety of others. A reckless driving charge can be serious, especially when combined with other offenses. However, sometimes it may be possible to counter reckless driving charges with a strong criminal defense strategy.

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