Driving Too Fast for Conditions Reckless Driving in Virginia

Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving Fairfax, Leesburg & Manassas, Virginia


Reckless Driving for going too fast for conditions in Prince William, Fairfax, and Loudoun County

Experienced drivers are familiar with the speed limits on both the highways and small roads in Fairfax County. Road conditions or traffic conditions sometimes require driving slower than the speed limit. The normal conditions might have changed because of excessive rain, snow, or even if a traffic accident has occurred on the road ahead.   Under these conditions you can still get a ticket from a police officer or Virginia State Trooper for going "too fast for conditions".  Unfortunately, this charge is a Class One misdemeanor, so you have to take the matter seriously.

Here is the law under Virginia Code Section 46.2-861:

 “Driving too fast for highway and traffic conditions -

A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who exceeds a reasonable speed under the circumstances and traffic conditions existing at the time, regardless of any posted speed limit."

What is "Too Fast for Conditions" in Virginia?

The law says you cannot exceed a reasonable speed under the circumstances and traffic conditions.  Unfortunately this is a very vague and fact-specific law.  Often these charges are issued by a Virginia law enforcement officer after an accident that no one witnessed.  If the police officer did not see the accident, how can they know whether the person exceeded a reasonable speed?  And if the officer appears on the scene of the accident  at a later time, how would they know what the conditions were at the time the person was driving? 

If you see this charge on your summons with the corresponding code section you should consult with one of the lawyers at The Gordon Law Firm who handle reckless driving charges in Northern Virginia.   There are many things that our law firm can do to help try to minimize the damage this charge may cause your criminal and Virginia driving record. Remember that reckless driving in any form is a Class 1 Misdemeanor.

Punishments for violations of Virginia Code Section 46.2-861

Because "Driving Too Fast For Conditions" under Code 46.2-861 is a misdemeanor you can face the following punishment:

  • 1 Day to 12 Months in Jail; and/or
  • a fine of up to $2500.00; and/or
  • up to a 6 month long suspension of your privilege to drive in Virginia.

If convicted you will also have a permanent Misdemeanor conviction on your record.  If you have a Virginia Driver's License, they will subtract 6 demerit points from your DMV record for a violation of Virginia Code 46.2-861.

Alex Gordon and Carlos Wall, the Reckless Driving lawyers at The Gordon Law Firm have helped more than 3000 people in Northern Virginia courts with charges like "Driving too fast for conditions" under Virginia Code 46.2-861.  Feel welcome to call us at 703.218.8416 or email us at thegordonlawfirm@gmail.com for a Free Confidential Consultation.



With the correct arguments, the reckless driving charge for "driving too fast for conditions" may be reduced or dismissed.  A reduction may be able to negotiated an agreement between your lawyer and the Commonwealth Attorney to something other than reckless driving.  For example, Improper Driving might be a good outcome in your case because it is a traffic infraction (non-misdemeanor).  ‘Failure to Maintain Control’ under the Fairfax County code may also be a good outcome as is no-point non-moving violation.  Of course, the best outcome might dismissal of the charge if there is not enough evidence of excessive speed under the conditions. 

Every person's case is different.  We look forward listening carefully to you about the circumstances of your case and developing a strategy for success.  Call Alex or Carlos at 703.218.8416 or text us a copy of your ticket to 703.591.6682.  We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.