Consequences of Reckless Driving

Reckless driving occurs when a person operates a vehicle in a way that puts other drivers at risk. It’s more serious than making a simple mistake, like forgetting to put your turn signal on or going a few miles above the speed limit. Types of reckless driving may include street racing, weaving through traffic and tailgating. 

When determining what amounts to reckless driving, courts look at a few factors, including weather conditions, the quality of the vehicle and the driver’s familiarity with the area. For example, if there was heavy snow and a driver couldn’t help but weave in and out of lanes, the judge may not consider that reckless driving. However, if the weather conditions were pleasant, the driver who weaved in and out of lanes may be charged with reckless driving.

Here are some of the consequences of reckless driving:


If you’re convicted of reckless driving, the judge will likely order you to pay a fine. How much you’ll have to pay can depend on a variety of factors, such as the type of reckless driving you committed and your criminal history. Typically, these fines can range anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars.

Driver’s License Suspension

A reckless driving conviction can also get your driver’s license suspended. In many states, people convicted of reckless driving will get their driver’s license for at least 30 days. If you have previous reckless driving convictions on your record, however, you may face a lengthier suspension. If you live in an area without any public transportation, you may have a very difficult time getting to work and other places.

Jail Time

Reckless driving is most frequently considered a misdemeanor offense, so a person convicted of this offense faces up to a year in jail. If you don’t have any previous reckless driving convictions on your record, it’s unlikely that the judge will sentence to you to jail time. However, if your reckless driving led to someone getting hurt, you may face a heftier jail sentence.


If you don’t have a previous criminal history and no one was injured from your reckless driving, a judge will likely sentence you to probation. However, probation requires to comply with strict terms, such as finding a job, visiting a probation officer and not getting into more trouble with the law. If you don’t follow these rules, the judge may revoke your probation and sentence you to jail time.

If you were charged with reckless driving, it’s important to speak to an experienced reckless driving lawyer in Hillsville, VA soon. He or she can review your case and advise you the best way to proceed.

Thanks to The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into traffic ticket law and reckless driving consequences.