Reckless driving is one of the most underestimated criminal charges in Virginia. Too many people show up to Fairfax traffic court thinking that reckless driving is just a fancy traffic ticket. It is not!
In Fairfax, reckless driving is a criminal charge. Reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is the most serious type of 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 maximum 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 $2,500 in fines in addition to court costs, Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) fees, as well as massive insurance premium hikes.
A reckless driving conviction can have severe affects for a driver’s auto insurance, especially if that driver has a good driver discount. A single reckless driving conviction may double a driver’s insurance premiums for 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. Reckless driving can prevent military enlistment or admission to practice law in some cases.
In Virginia a reckless driving conviction cannot be expunged. It remains on a driver’s 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 remains on a driver’s Virginia DMV record for 11 years. If a Virginia 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 in addition to any court suspensions. DMV Probation will be automatic for minors if they are convicted of reckless driving while possessing a Virginia driver’s license.
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 may be harsher on you in the future.
Reckless driving is a serious charge in Fairfax. However, the good news is that there is much that can be done to prevent the severe consequences of conviction. If a driver hires a quality reckless driving attorney, that attorney can help the driver with literally dozens of defense strategies and possible alternatives to conviction.
The purpose of this website is to educate drivers about reckless driving and empower them to find and get the most out of their reckless driving attorney.