As 15 to 20 sports cars travelled down Virginia Route 262, some Sunday drivers believed they were witnessing a race on Virginia public highways or the filming of a “Fast and Furious” movie.
According to Augusta County Sheriff’s Office, a large group of sports cars were allegedly seen driving recklessly at 10:40 a.m. Sunday morning. According to reports, it took four jurisdictions of Virginia police officers to work collectively to stop drivers. Augusta County deputy Trevor Ross said law enforcement officers determined that the cars were part of a Northern Virginia car club. The sports cars included BMWs, Lexuses, Nissans and “an exotic one or two.”
Ross claimed the group was speeding, cutting other drivers off, and passing over double yellow lines from Virginia Highway 262. The car club members then travelled west on U.S. 250 through Churchville, Virginia.
Virginia Conservation Police, Highland County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police stopped 15 vehicles at the Headwaters Post Office in Highland County, Virginia according to a press release.
More than 20 summonses for reckless driving and other traffic violations were issued to 15 drivers to appear in Augusta and Highland County General District Courts. Many of the cars were towed. Because reckless driving in Virginia is a Class One misdemeanor, the drivers could face high fines, suspended licenses and the possibility of up to 12 months in jail.
According to Reckless Driving attorney Alex Gordon, the problems that the drivers face could be even more serious if they were accused of racing under Virginia law. Under Virginia Code Section 46.2-867, the racing allegation, if proven beyond a reasonable doubt, would result in the forfeiture of the vehicle to the Commonwealth of Virginia. The loss of license for Reckless Driving by racing is more severe as well, with the penalty being a forfeiture of the license for a period of time between 6 months and two years.
Below are the Virginia laws regarding Reckless Driving by Racing. If you have any questions regarding Reckless Driving charge in Virginia, contact Alex Gordon, reckless driving attorney, at 703.218.8416 or 1.888.591.6682. Alex Gordon and Carlos Wall help people in General District Courts in the Northern Virginia counties of Prince William, Fairfax, and Loudoun.
§ 46.2-865. Racing; penalty.
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.
§ 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.
§ 46.2-866. Racing; aiders or abettors.
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.
§ 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.
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