Reckless driving is significantly dangerous. It could endanger the lives of others being accompanied and other drivers and people outside the auto vehicle. Such driving is not determined solely as a result of an accident. When the offense was committed, there must have been imminent, foreseeable or even potential danger. As per code of VA reckless driving, such nature of driving is explained under § 46.2-862. Exceeding Speed Limit as follows:

“An individual shall be guilty of the reckless driving offense who drives an auto vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth of Virginia (i) at a speed of 20 mph or more than the applicable highest speed limit or (ii) more than 80 mph irrespective of the applicable highest speed limit.”


A person may commit an offense without having been involved in an accident, if his behavior is outside the behavioral standard of a reasonable individual in the same situation. The reasonable person test is objective and does not take into account any special skills that a person might have.

According to code of VA reckless driving, this action must be linked to the behavior of the driver. This behavior must be distinguished from the behavior of a reasonable, prudent and diligent person in the same situation.

Strict liability offenses are offenses that do not require the defendant to have the intent or intent to commit the offense. Strict liability only requires that the prohibited act be committed, regardless of whether or not to commit the offense. As per code of VA reckless driving, reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor that carries the maximum punishments of:

  • $2500 monetary penalty;
  • Six (6) DMV points;
  • Driver’s license suspension for six months; and
  • Jail time for twelve months.

When assessing the behavior of a person who may have committed the offense of reckless driving under code of VA reckless driving, one must analyze whether the person has acted in such a way as to move away from the norm described above. If in the course of the evaluation, it is certain that the action or maneuver is close to that which a reasonable person may have performed, it may issue a verdict of acquittal.


In order to be acquitted of the offense provided for in code of VA reckless driving, the defendant may submit a defense of due diligence. He must then demonstrate that he has taken all reasonable precautions to prevent the commission of the offense. Similarly, the defendant may present a defense of mistake of fact.

Two Separate Offenses

In case of both speeding and reckless driving, the offense a person is charged with must have as a conclusion the susceptibility of the defendant to endanger the life or safety of persons or property. It is important to note that this is a lesser included offense. This means that the alleged action includes a speeding ticket, but that a speeding ticket does not necessarily include an action likely to endanger life or safety.