What is 46.2-862 Reckless Driving in Virginia?

There are many different forms of reckless driving contained in the Virginia Code. The two most common forms of reckless driving charged in Northern Virginia are Va. Code Sections 46.2-862 and 46.2-852. 

Virginia Reckless Driving 46.2-862

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, or 81 miles per hour in a 70 mile per hour zone qualifies as reckless driving. 

Lack of Intent to Speed AND Knowledge of Speed Are Irrelevant

This form of reckless driving in Virginia is essentially a strict liability offense - that is, it is no defense that you did not intent to speed or might have been completely unaware of your speed.  However, those facts might be relevant mitigation evidence to be presented by your attorney in an effort to negotiate a resolution with the prosecutor to reduce your case to a non-criminal, non-reckless driving infraction. (Read about how only an attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor in Fairfax and some other jurisdictions)  

No Proof of Actual Recklessness Need be Shown

Reckless driving by speed does not require any proof that the driving was actually reckless.  Rather the prosecutor simply has to prove that the speed meets one of the two criteria above. 

Talk to a Fairfax Reckless Driving Defense Lawyer

Jurisdictions in Virginia vary considerably from county to county in terms of their practice and protocol as to how reckless driving cases are handled and negotiated.  Therefore, it is critical that you hire a Fairfax Reckless Driving Lawyer for your Fairfax case - not a lawyer that claims he will go anywhere in Virginia and simply "moonlights" in Fairfax from time to time.  Call 703-556-0004 or use the Contact Us page to set up a call to discuss your case.

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