LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Luke Joseph Nichols | Oct 7, 2010

Virginia Reckless Driving Is Not a Speeding Ticket!

In Virginia, reckless driving is one of the most underestimated criminal charges. Too many people think that reckless driving is just a fancy speeding ticket. It is not!

Reckless driving is a serious criminal charge. Reckless driving 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 6-month driver’s license suspension. A reckless driving conviction can cost a driver up to $4,000 in fines, court costs, Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) fees, as well as massive liability, health, and life insurance premium hikes.

Drivers can also lose their job if they drive for work or require security clearance. People convicted of reckless driving will be forced to disclose their conviction on background checks, job applications, and applications for higher educations. 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 six-demerit-point violation in Virginia, and it remains on the driving record for 11 years. If a driver has a less than perfect driving record, that driver may be in jeopardy of having the driving license revoked by the DMV or being placed on driving probation. Probation 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 prosecutors and courts will be even harsher on you 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. If a driver hires a quality reckless driving defense attorney, that attorney can help the driver with literally dozens of defenses and possible alternatives to conviction.

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