There are many different forms of reckless driving in Virginia. About 16 to be exact. However, the two most common forms of reckless driving cited in Fairfax County are Virginia Code Section 46.2-862 and Section 46.2-852.
Virginia Code Section 46.2-862 provides that "A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth: (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit." Accordingly, driving 75 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone is reckless driving.
As you can see, there is no requirement that the driver actually endanger anyone. Nor is there any requirement that the driver has knowledge of their speed, or intend to drive at that speed. This is what is know as a "strict liability" crime.
Virginia Code Section 46.2-852 is another type of reckless driving. Under Section 46.2-852, the prosecutor must prove that the driver: (1) drove at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger life, limb or property of another or (2) that the driver disregarded the consequences of their actions and displayed an indifference to the safety of life, limb or property.
Other types of reckless driving include:
- Improperly passing a stopped school bus (Virginia Code Section 46.2-859)
- Driving at speeds too fast for traffic conditions, regardless of the speed limit (Virginia Code Section 46.2-861)
- Reckless driving in a parking lot (Virginia Code Section 46.2-864)
- Failing to give a proper turning or stopping signal (Virginia Code Section 46.2-860)
- Driving with faulty brakes and driving while vehicle not under proper control (Virginia Code Section 46.2-853)
- Overtaking, passing or failing to yield to an emergency vehicle (Virginia Code Section 46.2-829)
- Racing (Virginia Code Section 46.2-865)
- Passing a vehicle at a crest of a hill, on a curve or on a grade (Virginia Code Section 46.2-854)
- Overloaded vehicle such as to obstruct or interfere with driver's control or view (Virginia Code Section 46.2-855)
- Overtaking or passing another vehicle at a railroad grade crossing (Virginia Code Section 46.2-858)
- Failing to yield right-of-way to other vehicles when merging onto highway (Virginia Code Section 46.2-863)
- Passing two other vehicles side by side (Virginia Code Section 46.2-856)
- Driving a vehicle two abreast in a single lane (Virginia Code Section 46.2-857)
- Aggressive driving (Virginia Code Section 46.2-868.1)
Call to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Kyle G. Manikas. Mr. Manikas will analyze your Fairfax case from the perspective of a former prosecutor who has an inside understanding of the Fairfax system you will face.