How Many Different Reckless Driving Crimes Are There in Virginia?

How Many Different Reckless Driving Crimes Are There in Virginia?

How Many Different Reckless Driving Crimes Are There in Virginia?Great question and the answer is, drum roll please …. 19!  That is right, there are 19 ways a person can be charged with the Misdemeanor Crime of Reckless Driving.

Here are the statutes:  

  • 46.2-852. Reckless – General
§ 46.2-853. Driving vehicle which is not under control; faulty brakes.
  • 46.2-854. Passing on or at the crest of a grade or on a curve.
  • 46.2-855. Driving with driver’s view obstructed or control impaired.
  • 46.2-856. Passing two vehicles abreast.
  • 46.2-857. Driving two abreast in a single lane.
  • 46.2-858. Passing at a railroad grade crossing.
  • 46.2-859. Passing a stopped school bus; prima facie evidence.
  • 46.2-860. Failing to give proper signals
  • 46.2-861. Driving too fast for highway and traffic conditions.
  • 46.2-862. Exceeding speed limit.
  • 46.2-863. Failure to yield right-of-way.
  • 46.2-864. Reckless driving on parking lots, etc.
  • 46.2-865. Racing; penalty.
  • 46.2-865.1. Injuring another or causing the death of another while engaging in a race; penalties.
  • 46.2-866. Racing; aiders or abettors.
  • 46.2-867. Racing; seizure of motor vehicle.
  • 46.2-878.1. Maximum speed limits in highway work zones; penalty.
  • 46.2-829. Approach of law-enforcement or fire-fighting vehicles, rescue vehicles, or ambulances; violation as failure to yield right-of-way

I have been a Reckless Driving Lawyer Fairfax County Virginia for over 30 years. Since I started practicing law in 1988 and even when I was a Traffic Court Prosecutor in the 90’s, many of these I have never even seen charged. The only ones that are common are the following:

  • 46.2-852. Reckless Driving General. (This is what most people think of when they hear Reckless Driving. It is basically driving like a maniac. The legal definition is driving in a manner so gross, wonton and negligent that it endangers life, limb or property.
  • 46.2-853. Driving vehicle which is not under control; faulty brakes. (This is most often charged in accidents.)
  • 46.2-859. Passing a stopped school bus; prima facie evidence. (This is a common charge, believe it or not. AND it is taken very seriously in Fairfax County Court. An attorney is advisable on this charge because there is a way to amend this charge from a crime to a mere civil offense, which is not a crime and does not have a license suspension nor jail associated with it.)
  • 46.2-862. Exceeding speed limit. (This is the most common Reckless Driving offense. Anyone going 20mph or more OR anyone going over 80 mph can be charged under this statute.)
  • 46.2-865. Racing; penalty. (This is not so common anymore. Back when the Fast & the Furious movies first came out, there were numerous charges for Racing in Fairfax County. In the past couple of years, I have not seen this charge very often. But if you are charged with Racing, you better get an experienced reckless driving lawyer in Fairfax, Virginia in court with you. Jail, license suspension and even seizure of your car are common penalties!)
  • 46.2-829. Approach of law-enforcement or fire-fighting vehicles, rescue vehicles, or ambulances; violation as failure to yield right-of-way. (This law was recently modified in the Virginia General Assembly. I recall dealing with this statute just before I retired from the Virginia House of Delegates. It was brought on by too many deaths of State Troopers being hit by drivers.)

If you are charged with any of these offenses in Virginia, give me a call. I practice in all Northern Virginia Courts, and through my work as Chairman of the House of Delegates Committee that wrote the criminal and traffic laws, I know great attorneys throughout Virginia. I would be happy to refer you to a local attorney who can help you in your case. Contact the office of Dave Albo today.

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