First of all, reckless driving is considered as a crime and a major traffic violation in Virginia. This is due to the fact it can cause serious harm to other drivers as well. Reckless driving is defined as driving carelessly that may or may not potentially cause harm to other human beings or damage to any private or public property.
In terms of whether reckless driving is regarded as a misdemeanor or a felony in Virginia is dependent on a case by case basis. Rarely will felony charges be given for rashly operating vehicle in Virginia however, drivers must be aware that it is a possibility after all. This means that it is highly unlikely for a person driving 80 miles per hour in a 70-mile per hour zone would be sentenced to jail time.
In most cases, rashly operating vehicle is regarded as a class one misdemeanor which inflicts on it being a serious criminal offense. In case a person is charged with class one misdemeanor for rashly operating vehicle, he/she will potentially have to pay high fines and in certain cases face jail time. It is of major importance for the reckless driver to understand that the penalty or penalties always depend on the damages resulting from the act of reckless driving.
The penalty fine for reckless driving being considered as a misdemeanor can include up to a year of jail time as well as up to $2,500 in fines. It may also include the suspension of the driver’s license and a six demerit point given on the driver’s motor vehicle report. In most cases, the punishment for reckless driving when considered as a class one misdemeanor is fine.
Nonetheless, rashly operating vehicle is sometimes also considered as a felony in Virginia. Even though reckless driving is rarely considered as a felony, it is still deemed a possibility. Felony charges are given for rashly operating vehicle in very sensitive and serious circumstances or as the law states in a manner that is so gross and/or causing serious bodily injury or the death of another person.
Moreover, rashly operating vehicle is automatically considered as a felony when someone is killed because of a drag race. This creates a special felony with a suspension of the driver’s license for a period from one to three years as well as a period of one to twenty years of jail time. In such cases, a permanent criminal record is created and more demerit points are given on the driver’s motor vehicle report. Such a criminal record may affect the driver’s future.
Overall, regardless of whether rashly operating vehicle is regarded as a misdemeanor or a felony, it is still considered as a major crime and drivers are advised to take the matter seriously. A criminal conviction is given in both cases, whether the case being considered as a misdemeanor or as a felony. After all, drivers must be aware that the determination of the rashly operating vehicle being a misdemeanor or a felony is done on a case by case basis.
If you need a Virginia Reckless Driving Lawyer to help you with your Reckless Driving case in Virginia, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Virginia Reckless Driving Attorneys can help you. A