Can you really get jail time for driving over 100 mph in Fairfax, Virginia?

Often, I get calls about reckless driving tickets, here in Virginia. Occasionally, those calls will involve folks who were alleged to have been driving over 100 mph.  And their first question is typically, “Can I really go to jail for this?”

Reckless driving is a serious offense.

In many states, driving fast is a traffic infraction.  In Virginia, it’s a Class I Misdemeanor. That means you can get up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.  Additionally, your license can be suspended for six months.

Of course, these are maximum penalties.  And for the typical reckless driving (e.g., you were going 75 mph in a 55 mph, not cutting people off, and you were polite to law enforcement, you likely won’t see any active jail time – to be clear, this isn’t a guarantee, so talk to an attorney).  Indeed, there may be a legitimate chance that you’ll get the charge amended from a criminal offense to a traffic infraction.

But, yes, you could see jail time.

With the above said, you certainly could face jail time for reckless driving in Virginia. Indeed, one such scenario is driving in excess of 100 mph.  Indeed, famed athlete, Jayson Werth, received 5 days in jail and a 30 day license suspension for driving 105 mph in a 55 mph zone.

If you’re facing a reckless driving charge of exceeding 100 mph, you need to take the charge absolutely seriously.  Whether you will actually serve time will depend on multiple factors, including:

  • Your actual speed;
  • Your driving record;
  • Whether you affected traffic
  • The jurisdiction your in;
  • Your specific judge;
  • Your prosecutor;
  • Whether there are legitimate defenses to your case (technical or otherwise).

Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive.  But it gives you an idea of what the court will be considering.

What if I wasn’t going 100 mph, could I still go to jail.

To be clear, every case is different. And, for every reckless driving charge, you could potentially see jail time.  Further, keep in mind that being convicted of a crime can have collateral consequences, such as affecting your ability to obtain commercial driver’s licenses, immigration, security clearances, etc.

If you’re charged with a reckless driving, we highly recommend you speak with an attorney.

Don’t be scared.

With that said, we don’t intend to scare you into hiring us. We simply want you to be informed of your rights. And have a real appreciation that Virginia takes reckless driving charges seriously. So should you.

Still have questions?

Make sure to check out our Personal Injury & Criminal Defense Practice Pages where we’ve answered many other questions you likely have.  James Abrenio is a Fairfax-Based Personal Injury & Criminal Defense attorney who practices throughout Northern Virginia. You can learn more about James Abrenio, some of our Prior Results, and Read Our Reviews.  Make sure to contact us at Ph. 703-570-4180 for your Free Consultation.