Reckless driving is one of the most underestimated criminal charges in Virginia. Too many people think that reckless driving is just a fancy traffic ticket. It is not.
Reckless driving is a serious criminal charge. It is a class 1 misdemeanor, which is the most serious misdemeanor in Virginia. Other class 1 misdemeanors include assault and battery, driving under the influence (DUI), and possession of a concealed weapon.
Reckless driving carries a sentence of up to 12 months in jail and a six-month driver’s license suspension (two years for racing). A reckless driving conviction can cost a driver up to $2,500 in fines in addition to court costs, Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) fees, and massive insurance premium hikes.
A reckless driving conviction has severe affects for a driver’s auto insurance, especially if that driver has a good driving record. A single reckless driving conviction may double a driver’s insurance premiums for the next three to five years.
Drivers can also lose their job if they drive for work or require security clearance. People convicted of reckless driving may be forced to disclose their conviction on background checks, job applications, and applications for higher education. In some cases reckless driving can prevent military enlistment or admission to practice law.
A reckless driving conviction cannot be expunged. Once you have been convicted for reckless driving in Virginia, it is on your criminal record forever. Expungements are only available if the charges are dismissed or dropped.
A conviction for reckless driving is also a six-demerit-point violation in Virginia, and it remains on the driving record for eleven years. If a driver has a less than perfect driving record, that driver may be in jeopardy of having their license revoked by the DMV or being placed on driving probation in addition to any court suspensions. DMV probation or suspension will be automatic for minors if they are convicted of reckless driving.
Having a reckless driving conviction on your driving record also means that police will be less likely to give you warnings for simple traffic violations and judges will be harsher in the future.
Reckless driving is a very serious charge; however, the good news is that there is a lot that can be done to prevent the severe consequences of conviction. An effective attorney can help a driver with literally dozens of defenses and possible alternatives to conviction.
The purpose of this book is to educate drivers about reckless driving in order to empower them to find and utilize the best reckless driving attorney. If you have been charged with reckless driving then you need to read this book.
Call Nichols & Green PLLC (703) 215-1114 if you are charged with reckless driving in Virginia and would like a copy of The Virginia Reckless Driving Handbook.