In Virginia, there are at least 15 separate offenses that fall under the crime of reckless driving. Many would be charged as less serious traffic violations in another state, such as failing to yield the right of way or not using a turn signal. Driving too fast for traffic and road conditions is a common reckless driving offense that you may be charged with in Virginia—even if you are driving at or below the speed limit.
What Is Driving Too Fast for Traffic and Road Conditions?
Under Virginia Code §46.2-861, you can be charged with reckless driving for exceeding “a reasonable speed under the circumstances and traffic conditions existing at the time, regardless of any posted speed limit.” What is considered a reasonable speed is in the discretion of the police officer who pulls you over.
Driving too fast for road and traffic conditions is frequently charged when there has been a motor vehicle accident. Other circumstances where an officer may stop you for driving too fast for conditions include:
- Weather, such as fog, rain, snow, ice, or sleet
- Slowed traffic due to an accident
- Road construction
- Taking a curve too fast
- Driving too fast on gravel
- Other emergency conditions
What Are the Penalties for Driving Too Fast for Road and Traffic Conditions?
Like other reckless driving charges, driving too fast for road and traffic conditions is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted, you may face these punishments:
- Jail sentence of up to one year
- Fine of up to $2,500
- Potential driver’s license suspension of 10 days to six months
In addition, six demerit points would be added on your driving record, which may increase your vehicle insurance costs significantly. You would also have a permanent criminal record.
Have you been charged with reckless driving in Fairfax or Northern Virginia? Our experienced reckless driving attorneys can help you develop a strong defense strategy so that the charges against you are dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. To find out more about how we can assist you, start a live chat to schedule a free consultation today.