Via VALawyersweekly, the Virginia Court of Appeals determined that Improper Driving is not a lesser included offense of Reckless Driving, and therefore it was legal to charge the person with both reckless driving and improper driving.
In the Appeals Court case, the attorneys argued that the woman should not have been charged with both offenses, since as a lesser included offense, it would be like being charged twice for the same action. For example, you can’t be charged with both grand larceny and petite larceny for stealing the same item.
The court rejected that argument, saying the law was specific and clear that reckless driving by speed is merely the act of driving over 80mph, and improper driving requires “slight culpability”, which reckless does not. They stated that it was entirely possible to be charged with reckless, but not be driving “improperly”.
This ruling has no particular bearing on the common plea bargain in reckless driving cases where a judge allows a defendant to plead guilty to a lesser, non-criminal offense of improper driving.