From the Bristol Motor Speedway and the yearly Rhythm & Roots Reunion to hundreds of miles of picturesque lake shoreline and Steele Creek Park, Bristol, Virginia, offers some of the most spectacular events and breathtaking views in the country.[1]   As the birthplace of country music and home to over 17,000 residents and countless visitors, Bristol appeals to individuals seeking one-of-a-kind cultural experiences and spectacular outdoor recreation.

Because of the popularity of the area, it is vital for everyone in Bristol—both residents and visitors—to know the traffic laws that apply to Virginia drivers. By understanding the Virginia traffic laws, the chances of avoiding moving violations and related penalties in Bristol, Virginia, significantly increases.

Reckless Driving in Bristol, VA – Excessive Speeding Can Result in a Criminal Charge

One of the most serious traffic offenses in Virginia is reckless driving.[2]  Under Virginia law, any person who drives at a speed or in a manner that endangers the life, limb, or property of another individual can be convicted of reckless driving.  Also, many people don’t know that in Virginia, speeding can also be considered reckless driving if a person was driving 20 mph over the speed limit, or if they were driving 85 mph or more, even if they were not otherwise driving erratically.

In Virginia, reckless driving is a criminal offense.  As such, in addition to significant fines,  the consequences can include loss of driving privileges and even incarceration.  Moreover, because Virginia does not have any expungement laws that cover reckless driving, a reckless driving conviction will show up in background searches.

If you have been charged with reckless driving in Virginia, it may be vital to get assistance from an experienced VA reckless driving lawyer as you attempt to mitigate the potentially severe repercussions of this charge.

Call our office to schedule a complimentary consultation with Bristol traffic lawyer Mark Hurt.  Mark offers affordable fixed-fee representation in traffic matters and accepts credit card payments.  This means you will pay the same, predictable amount, regardless of whether your case requires an extensive investigation or trial.   

Why Should I Hire a Bristol, Virginia Reckless Driving Lawyer?

Hiring a Bristol reckless driving lawyer can significantly increase the chances of receiving a reduction in charges or a complete dismissal.  Attorney Mark Hurt is known professionally for having a top education from Duke University School of Law and has gained vital experience working at major litigation firms in D.C. and Dallas, TX, before returning to the Tri-Cities area.

Mark has helped hundreds of clients avoid the severe penalties associated with speeding, reckless driving, DUI and DWI, and other traffic charges.  With a highly-competent and experienced team, The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt fights tenaciously in seeking the best possible outcomes in traffic cases.

What Are the Penalties for a Bristol Reckless Driving or Excessive Speeding Ticket in Virginia?

Reckless driving in Virginia is typically considered a Class 1 misdemeanor criminal offense.  Further, under certain conditions, the charge can be upgraded to a Class 6 felony.[3] A prison term, a substantial fine, and a driver’s license suspension may result upon a conviction. The following are the penalties for reckless driving in Bristol, Virginia.

Potential Jail Time Can Be Assessed for Reckless Driving in Virginia.

Virginia law allows for a prison term of up to 12 months for a Class 1 misdemeanor reckless driving conviction.  The odds are that a first offense would not result in this steep of a penalty (e.g., the sentence may be only a few months), but the possibility of a prison sentence at the top of the scale rises if you have repeated reckless driving charges or a poor driving background (in general).

For a Class 6 felony reckless driving charge, an individual may face a prison term of one to five years.  Still, Virginia law allows a prosecutor to assess a punishment for less than 12 months if that is considered reasonable in a case.  As such, it is critical to hire an experienced litigator who can advocate on your behalf for a reduced sentence and penalties.

A Bristol Reckless Driving Charge Can Result in a Huge Fine!

The maximum penalty for reckless driving under Virginia law is $2,500 for both a Class 6 felony and a Class 1 misdemeanor.  A judge has the discretion to charge less or nothing at all.  However, judges typically will assess some fine upon a conviction.

You Can Lose Your License if Convicted of Reckless Driving in Bristol.

A driver’s license may be revoked for ten days to six months if someone is convicted of reckless driving.  When this occurs, a judge can impose several requirements before reinstating a license, which may require completion of a driver enhancement clinic, community service, and payment of renewal fees.

Six Demerit Points on a Driving Record May Be Assessed.

In Virginia, demerit points are assigned when an individual is convicted of a traffic violation.  Each time a traffic offense is committed, the DMV adds additional demerits to a record, resulting in significant penalties (such as license revocation and fees).  Points can remain on a driving record for up to eleven years.[4]

If you wish to prevent or mitigate the possible effects of a reckless driving conviction in Virginia, it is advisable to speak to a qualified attorney representing people charged with reckless driving offenses in the court where your case is to be heard.

Seek to Mitigate Reckless Driving Penalties by Hiring Experienced Bristol, VA Reckless Driving Lawyer Mark Hurt.

A trained Virginia defense lawyer can assist you in reckless driving proceedings and negotiate with prosecutors or plead with a judge for a lesser penalty, such as unsafe driving or fewer fines.

At The Law Office of Mark T. Hurt, we treat clients like family. Our expert team of attorneys can carefully analyze all case details and prepare a robust defense. If you are facing a reckless driving charge, contact our firm as soon as possible.  Call us today to schedule a free consultation.


[1] Outdoor Discoveries, Discover Bristol, https://discoverbristol.org/discover/outdoor/.

[2] VA Code § 46.2-862.

[3] VA Code § 46.2-868.

[4] The Points System, Virginia DMV, https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/drivers/#points_you.asp.

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We hired Mr. Hurt to help settle a worker’s comp injury case for my husband. Mark, Bart, and Mary worked tirelessly to resolve his case and reach a settlement we were pleased with. They were always available to answer questions and returned calls in a timely manner.
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