What is a Class 1 Misdemeanor in Virginia?

What is a class 1 misdemeanor?

In Virginia, reckless driving is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor.  Therefore, reckless driving is a criminal offense as opposed to a traffic infraction as is typically the case for a speed related offense.  This is very concerning to my clients, most of whom have no criminal history, who are charged with reckless driving for going as little as 11 miles per hour over the speed limit in a 70 mile per hour zone.

There are four misdemeanor classifications, in Virginia, with a Class 1 being the most severe.  As such, a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia falls just one step short of being a felony.  If convicted, a Class 1 misdemeanor, such as reckless driving, can carry very serious consequences.

A Class 1 misdemeanor conviction has a maximum possible sentence of 12 months of confinement in jail and a $2500 fine.  Some typical examples of Class 1 misdemeanors include: reckless driving, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI), driving on a suspended license, and assault & battery.  A Class 1 misdemeanor will also carry secondary effects such as employment opportunities and security clearances.