Bristol is an independent city in the commonwealth of Virginia[1] with over 17,000 residents.[2] Recognized as the birthplace of country music,[3] Bristol’s world-class fly-fishing waters, mountain bike trails, and cultural scene draw droves of visitors each year.  Unfortunately, this increased traffic often leads to a rise in traffic citations.  As a result, an enjoyable visit can quickly turn into an unpleasant experience for a resident or visitor if they are cited for reckless driving.

Littered with speed traps, Interstate 81 is a prime patrol area for Bristol law enforcement officers.  Many unsuspecting residents and visitors are cited for reckless driving for exceeding the posted 70 mile-per-hour speed limit.  For charged with driving 20 mph or more over the speed limit, or with driving 85 mph or more, the charge is not only speeding, it also constitutes reckless driving, which is a criminal charge.  Being charged with reckless driving can have significant and long-lasting consequences, which is why it is critical to seek legal representation as soon as possible if you are cited for reckless driving.

As a Bristol reckless driving lawyer, firm-founding attorney Mark Hurt can challenge traffic citations and seek reduced charges, dismissals, and not guilty verdicts.  If you were cited for reckless driving, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.

We are available 24/7, and offer a free consultation, affordable fixed-fee representation, and we accept credit cards.

What is Reckless Driving in Bristol, VA?

Each year, over nine thousand people are killed in speeding-related incidents.[4]  Therefore, Bristol has some of the severest driving laws in the country, which are aggressively enforced.  Many out-of-state drivers are surprised to learn that in Virginia, driving 20 miles over the applicable maximum speed limit or in excess of 85 miles per hour (regardless of the speed limit) is considered reckless driving.[5]

In addition to speeding, there are several other circumstances under which an individual can be charged with reckless driving, including:

  • Endangering the life, limb, or property of another person[6]
  • Driving a vehicle with faulty brakes
  • Passing on or at the crest of a grade or on a curve
  • Driving with an obstructed view
  • Driving next to a car in a single lane
  • Driving too fast for highway or traffic conditions
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way
  • Racing
  • Failing to give proper signals
  • Aggressive Driving[7]

If you were cited for reckless driving, it is critical to not gamble with your future, as the consequences can be devastating – hire an experienced Bristol, Virginia reckless driving lawyer who knows how to argue for reduced penalties and dismissals.  With over three decades of experience, Mark Hurt knows how to fight reckless driving charges tenaciously.

What Are the Penalties for Reckless Driving in Virginia?

Being charged with reckless driving in Virginia can have severe impacts on your life.  If found guilty of excessive speeding or reckless driving, you can face penalties, including:

  • Steep fines (up to $2,500)
  • A misdemeanor or felony conviction
  • Demerit points on a license
  • Increased insurance rates
  • Driver’s license suspension (up to 2 years)
  • Security clearance revocation
  • Jail time (up to one year)
  • Lost or reduced employment
  • Charge on a DMV record (up to 11 years)

Individuals are entitled to represent themselves in any Virginia reckless driving case, but this is often unwise.  Reckless driving laws are complex, and if convicted, the penalties can be significant and long-lasting.

Importantly, if you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and your livelihood depends upon being able to drive, a driving conviction can have critical negative consequences.  We frequently represent commercial drivers, and fully understand the regulations and impacts concerning a driving infraction.

As an experienced Bristol, Virginia reckless driving lawyer, Mark Hurt may be able to help in seeking to mitigate these consequences.  If you retain our firm, we can develop a strategy for seeking the best outcome possible for your case, fight for you at trial, seek a dismissal (if there is a basis for doing so), and (at your direction), negotiate with prosecutors for reduced charges (such as improper driving)[8] that will have a significantly reduced impact.

Can I Go to Jail If I Am Convicted of Reckless Driving?

Yes.  Depending upon the severity of the infraction, an individual can be arrested for reckless driving.  If convicted, a penalty of up to one year in jail can be assessed, and an individual will likely have a permanent criminal record.

Because the penalties are so severe, it is critical to reach out to an experienced Bristol reckless driving attorney as soon as possible so that a compelling and vigorous defense can be constructed.

How Long Will a Reckless Driving Conviction Stay on My Driving Record?

The gravity of a violation dictates how long a conviction stays on a driving record.  In most reckless driving cases, a charge will be reported for eleven years.  Additionally, if convicted, a misdemeanor or felony may remain on an individual’s criminal record forever.  Further, expungement is not allowed in Bristol, meaning the charge cannot be removed.

Why Should I Hire an Experienced Bristol Reckless Driving Lawyer?

Attorney Mark Hurt is a native Bristolian who obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and his law degree from Duke University. Before returning to the Tri-Cities, Mark gained invaluable experience practicing at litigation firms in Dallas, Texas and Washington DC, helping hundreds of individuals obtain dismissals and reduced penalties.

Mark Hurt has over 25 years of experience in helping Virginians aggressively oppose reckless driving charges.  He has a reputation for being an experienced traffic citation attorney who knows how to vigorously fight for reduced charges, as well as how to effectively argue for full dismissals and not guilty verdicts at trial.

When an individual hires The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, depending on the facts and circumstance of a case, we may be able to help with the following:

  • Seeking reduced penalties
  • Appearing in court
  • Preventing employment issues (especially for those with a CDL)
  • Avoiding increases in insurance premiums
  • Seeking a dismissal or not guilty verdict at trial
  • Avoiding a life-long criminal record
  • Avoiding jail time
  • Clearing a driving record

Call our Bristol Office Today to Schedule a Free Consultation!

In Virginia, reckless driving is a serious matter that can lead to severe penalties and demerits on your driving record, as well as possibly increased insurance premiums.  If you received a reckless driving ticket, we encourage you to reach out to our firm for a free consultation.  At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we can evaluate your case and explain your legal options and how we can help.  We also offer affordable flat-fee pricing and accept credit cards.


[1] Virginia Info, Virginia’s Counties and Independent Cities, https://www.pettitcompany.com/html/va_cities_and_counties.html

[2] About Bristol, City of Bristol Virginia Official Website

[3] Birthplace of Country Music, America’s Story, http://www.americaslibrary.gov/es/tn/es_tn_bristol_1.html

[4] Speeding, National Highway Traffic Safety Association, www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/speeding| NHTSA/

[5] VA Code § 46.2-862

[6] VA Code § 46.2-852

[7] VA Code § 46.2

[8] VA Code § 46.2-869

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