Virginia Reckless Driving Speeding Law Affects Pennsylvania Drivers
Reckless driving in Virginia is classified as a criminal misdemeanor offense. Virginia has 20 different reckless driving laws. The most popular criminalizes excessive speed according to Virginia Code 46.2-862. Reckless driving convictions can be punishable with a jail sentence, loss of driving privileges, fines, and then ultimately problems with the automobile insurance policy and/or an employer. Licensed drivers from Pennsylvania can be negatively affected by these Virginia laws.
NOTE: Excessive Speed Can Trigger A Permanent Criminal Misdemeanor Conviction
PA Drivers Who Speed Can Be Convicted of Reckless Driving In Virginia
In Virginia, speed alone can prove a violation of the reckless driving law according to Virginia Code 46.2-862. The essential element the prosecution is required to prove is that the alleged driver was operating a motor vehicle at an excessive speed. The prosecution does not have to prove that the driver intended to speed or to violate the reckless driving law. On the other hand, according to Pennsylvania law 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3736, reckless driving occurs when an individual drives their vehicle in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other people or property. Willful typically means intentionally, knowingly or purposefully. Wanton is defined as a complete indifference to the consequences of one’s actions. Pennsylvania’s reckless driving law solely focuses on the state of the mind of the driver while driving the motor vehicle. It can be difficult for the prosecution in Pennsylvania to convict a driver with reckless driving because of this required intent or state of mind.
Virginia Reckless Driving Lawyers That Defend Pennsylvania Motorists
Riley & Wells Attorneys-At-Law are specialized Virginia Reckless Driving Lawyers. Our law firm has over 45 years of collective experience. We know how to protect our clients who are licensed drivers from the Keystone State. Our lawyers regularly consult with Pennsylvania drivers who have been accused of criminal misdemeanor reckless driving every day. The most common reckless driving violation is due to excessive speed. Excessive speed in Pennsylvania is almost always a minor traffic ticket.
NOTE: A Reckless Driving Allegation is NOT a Conviction
Pennsylvania Speeders Shocked By Virginia Reckless Driving Speeding Law
Pennsylvania motorists are shocked to learn that merely speeding without any other erratic or dangerous driving is a criminal offense in Virginia. The maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and fines of up to $2500 are also frightening. PA law does not automatically criminalize excessive speed like Virginia. Virginia code 46.2-862 criminalizes excessive speed where the speed evidence is over 85 miles per hour or 20 miles per hour above the posted speed limit. A typical scenario involves a Pennsylvania motorist who is simply driving through Virginia on the Interstate. The speed limit in some places on Virginia Interstates is 70 miles per hour. This can trigger being charged with a criminal misdemeanor offense for merely speeding 16 miles per hour over the posted speed limit of 70 miles per hour.
CAUTION: Consult a Local Virginia Attorney Before Pleading Guilty to Reckless Driving
Virginia Reckless Driving Trial Lawyers
In Virginia, every case goes before the Judge on a trial date. Virginia convictions are permanent and cannot be expunged. A criminal conviction for reckless driving in Virginia will eventually be reported to the Pennsylvania DOT. The conviction will post to the Pennsylvania driving record. Over the years, we have been contacted by many Pennsylvania drivers who lost employment opportunities and insurance policies because they did not defend their criminal misdemeanor reckless driving speeding case.
Insurance Increases For Reckless Driving Convictions Can Be Staggering
Aside from having a permanent criminal record, the automobile insurance penalty imposed by the insurance carriers for reckless driving convictions is perhaps the most significant penalty. Do not plead guilty to Virginia reckless driving just because you live in PA. According to a study conducted by Insurance.com, a reckless driving conviction will on average increase the automobile insurance premium by 73% or $1,046 EACH YEAR. Expect the increase to be in effect for at least three years.
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