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What constitutes reckless driving?

It is often all too easy to encounter distractions when you are driving, but doing so might result in traffic infractions that then turn into legal trouble. One offense charge that surprises many people is reckless driving. The charge itself calls to mind consciously negligent and harmful behavior on the road, but in reality, a simple mistake could result in criminal charges.

You might wonder then, what exactly constitutes reckless driving? There are a number of answers to this question, and according to WTOP, the state of Virginia is among the top 10 strictest for reckless driving charges. The following three examples can land you in court if you are not careful.

Driving 20 MPH over the speed limit

In Virginia, if law enforcement catches you driving more than 20 miles per hour above the posted speed limit, you are liable to face reckless driving charges. This is true regardless of what speed zone you happen to be in, and it means that a joy ride down the highway can easily end in the back of a police cruiser. 

Driving over 80 MPH in any speed zone

In addition to driving 20 MPH or more over the limit, you can receive a reckless driving charge if police catch you driving at any speed over 80 MPH. Many highways throughout Virginia, however, have a speed limit of just 70 MPH. This means that going a mere 10 miles per hour over the speed limit can earn a criminal offense.

Causing an accident due to negligence

Needless to say, if your behavior on the road is egregious enough to cause an accident, you were likely driving recklessly and may face such charges. This is especially true if negligence or malice of any kind contributed to the collision or if it resulted in injuries or fatalities.

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