Q: A police officer issued me a citation for reckless driving because he said I pulled out of my driveway too fast. Is this legal?

A: It all depends on the circumstances. If you live in a palatial country home and an officer glimpses you from a nearby hill revving your car in your 500-foot-long driveway, there's not much he can do to make a reckless driving charge stick. However, if you are a typical suburban homeowner with a driveway fronting onto the street, a police officer who witnesses you backing out of your driveway at high speed can indeed cite you for reckless driving (whether or not there were any other cars, or even any pedestrians, on the street at the time of your infraction).

Why is this the case? Well, the purpose of Virginia's traffic laws is to protect other drivers, as well as the general population, from reckless or negligent behavior. The police officer can claim that your high-speed exit from your driveway posed a potential risk to pedestrians and other cars, and the fact is that you should have known better, since kids on bikes are often seriously injured or even killed in just this way.

If you have been charged with reckless driving in the state of Virginia in an “off-road” location—your own driveway, the parking lot of a shopping center or school, an abandoned lot, or even a new road that hasn't officially opened yet—you need to secure the services of an experienced Virginia traffic lawyer. Call Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC today at 888-783-9701 for a free consultation; we may succeed in having your reckless driving charge reduced or even dismissed entirely.