Virginia Reckless Driving

Learn about reckless driving tickets, laws, and defenses.


Outcomes can vary widely for reckless driving cases in Virginia. They vary between individual defendants and among jurisdictions around the Commonwealth. I can provide some general guidelines about possible sentences, but the best way to know what you’re facing is to give me a call.

Reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor. This is the most severe type of misdemeanor, but it doesn’t rise to the level of a felony.

The maximum penalties for reckless driving are:

  • 12 months in jail
  • 6 months license suspension
  • $2,500 fine

It’s possible to be pummeled with the maximum of all three penalties. However, that would most likely be reserved for the most eggregious cases.

Your sentence will depend primarily on two factors: 1.) the speed and circumstances of your charge, and 2.) your driving record. A typical reckless driving case is 85-90 mph in a 65 mph zone. If you get convicted of that charge and have a relatively clean record, you will usually not face jail time or license suspension. You would probably walk away with a $200 to $300 fine.

Depending upon the circumstances, your record, and the jurisdiction, there is a line where you are facing jail time. In some jurisdictions, anything over 90 mph will land you in jail for a day or two. Other jurisdictions don’t typically send defendants to jail until the speed tops 100 mph.

In addition to the above penalties, a reckless driving conviction automatically subtracts six points from your DMV record. This happens regardless of any other sentence imposed, and there’s no way around it. The conviction will remain on your driving record for at least five years (some forms of reckless driving remain for 11 years). That will certainly have a negative impact on your auto insurance, raising your rates. Moreover, you will probably be sentenced more harshly on any other court matters while the reckless driving conviction remains on your record.

Call me today to discuss the possible sentence you might be facing on your Virginia reckless driving charge.