Update: I found this little tidbit here:

You can verify what type of traffic ticket you received in two ways. 1) You can view your traffic court case file online and see whether it says “speeding” or “reckless driving by speed.” 2) You can look at your Virginia Uniform Summons (the yellow ticket you received from the police). If, in the note section of the summons it says 46.2-862 or 46.2-852, you are charged with reckless driving, if it says 46.2-870, 871, 872, 873, 874, 876, 878, 878.1, 878.2 or 881, then you are charged with speeding. If neither one of these options helps you determine what you are charged with, contact a local traffic attorney.

Reckless Driving by speed and Speeding are basically the same offense in Virginia, but the punishments are very different. Reckless driving is a criminal offense which may involve jail time, probation, license suspension, and a much steeper fine. To learn more about reckless driving click here.

Mine falls in the latter category. Speeding.


On the Fourth of July, I got pulled over for doing 76 mph on a 55 mph interstate in Virginia (yes, the worst possible state in which to get busted for speeding). In Virginia, anything 20 mph over the posted limit can be charged as reckless driving. However, on the ticket under “Charge,” the officer only wrote “Speeding 76/55.”


I called and consulted with an attorney who said, “It sounds like the officer is giving you a break and just charging you with speeding, not reckless. You really don’t need to hire an attorney for this. You can pay your ticket, and you’ll get six points.”

Despite the attorney’s reassurance, I’m still worried. For some reason, I thought anything 20+ over resulted in an automatic reckless driving charge in VA. Can any of you Jalops with legal knowledge weigh in? I don’t take this kind of stuff lightly!