Va. Code § 46.2-865: Reckless by Racing

Racing vehicles on public property at any time or on private property open to the public (such as parking lots) without permission is reckless driving. Reckless by Racing also comes with an elevated punishment that includes suspension of the driver’s license for at least six months and up to two years.

Va. Code 46.2-865 Reckless Driving – Racing

“Any person who engages in a race between two or more motor vehicles on the highways in the Commonwealth or on any driveway or premises of a church, school, recreational facility, or business property open to the public in the Commonwealth shall be guilty of reckless driving, unless authorized by the owner of the property or his agent. When any person is convicted of reckless driving under this section, in addition to any other penalties provided by law the driver’s license of such person shall be suspended by the court for a period of not less than six months nor more than two years. In case of conviction the court shall order the surrender of the license to the court where it shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of § 46.2-398.”

Va. Code 46.2-866 Racing Aiding and Abetting

“Any person, although not engaged in a race as defined in § 46.2-865, who aids or abets any such race, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.”

Va. Code 46.2-865.1 Injuring another or causing the death of another while engaging in a race; penalties
“A. Any person who, while engaging in a race in violation of § 46.2-865 in a manner so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life:
1. Causes serious bodily injury to another person who is not involved in the violation of § 46.2-865 is guilty of a Class 6 felony; or
2. Causes the death of another person is guilty of a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than one nor more than 20 years, one year of which shall be a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment.
B. Upon conviction, the court shall suspend the driver’s license of such person for a period of not less than one year nor more than three years, and shall order the surrender of the license to be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of § 46.2-398.”
Va Code  46.2-867. Racing; seizure of motor vehicle
“If the owner of a motor vehicle (i) is convicted of racing such vehicle in a prearranged, organized, and planned speed competition in violation of § 46.2-865, (ii) is present in the vehicle which is being operated by another in violation of § 46.2-865, and knowingly consents to the racing, or (iii) is convicted of a violation of § 46.2-865.1, the vehicle shall be seized and shall be forfeited to the Commonwealth, and upon being condemned as forfeited in proceedings under Chapter 22.1 (§ 19.2-386.1 et seq.) of Title 19.2, the proceeds of sale shall be disposed of according to law. Such sections shall apply mutatis mutandis.
The penalties imposed by these sections are in addition to any other penalty imposed by law.”
Penalties for Fairfax Reckless Driving -Racing
  • Class 1 misdemeanor (Criminal Conviction)
  • 0 to 12 months in jail
  • $0-$2,500 in fines
  • 6 to 24 months loss of license
  • 6 Va DMV demerit points
Penalties for Fairfax Reckless Driving -Racing (with Injury)
  • Class 6 felony (Criminal Conviction)
  • 0 to 5 years in prison
  • $0-$2,500 in fines
  • 1 to 3 year loss of license
  • 6 Va DMV demerit points
Penalties for Fairfax Reckless Driving -Racing (with Death)
  • Class 6 felony (Criminal Conviction)
  • 1 to 20 years in prison
  • $0-$2,500 in fines
  • 1 to 3 year loss of license
  • 6 Va DMV demerit points
Defenses for Reckless Driving for Racing

There are two main ways we prevent conviction for reckless driving racing in Fairfax:

1) We attack the culpability. We try to show reasons why the driver does not deserve these harsh punishments and ask the court to reduce the charge to a less sever traffic ticket.

2) We attack the accuracy and admissibility of the police officer’s accusations. Often there is a question of how the officer knows whether the driver was racing. Often the officer merely observes two or more cars driving recklessly or fast together. Without a confession or unusual evidence it can be hard to prove that this group of drivers were racing as opposed to merely being reckless as a group.

For more information about reckless driving defenses, click here.

How to Prepare for a Reckless Driving -Racing

Some of the things we recommend drivers do, can include (click the links for more information):

  • Taking a Driver Improvement Course
  • Get a copy of the officer’s accident report (if there was an accident)
  • Draw a diagram of the area where the incident occured
  • Writing a brief biography about yourself
  • Writing a detailed incident summary about yourself
  • Getting a copy of your DMV record
Likely Lesser Offenses For Reckless Driving – Racing

In Fairfax, prosecutors will not negotiated with unrepresented defendants; however, your attorney might be able to get the reckless driving charge reduced from a criminal reckless driving charge to one of the following non criminal traffic tickets:

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Defending Drivers in Fairfax

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