If you are pulled over for going 20 mph over the speed in Virginia, then there’s a good chance that the police officer, sheriff deputy, or Virginia state trooper is going to charge you with reckless driving by speed. It’s more than just a speeding ticket. It is a criminal summons, not just a civil infraction.

The charge of reckless driving is a Class 1 Misdemeanor under Virginia law. That’s right – it’s a crime to drive more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit on a Virginia roadway. If you get stopped driving 75 mph on a 55 mph highway, or 55 mph in a 35 mph residential road, or any speeding that is 20 mph or more over the limit, then it’s a reckless driving charge.

What’s a Class 1 Misdemeanor? It’s worse than speeding. With a speeding ticket, you just get a fine and points. But with a misdemeanor for reckless driving, you can go to jail up to twelve (12) months, get a fine up to $2,500, plus court costs and a permanent record. Not every case results in jail or a large fine, but it largely depends on the circumstances.

Are you facing a reckless driving ticket in Virginia? Speak with a lawyer in Virginia who handles reckless driving cases to see what defenses you have to the charge. A lawyer can help seek a reduction of the charge to speeding, or get the charge dismissed, and can work with the prosecutor so that you never even have to appear in court. Contact a reckless driving lawyer for more information.