Getting a reckless driving ticket in the state of Virginia is a very serious problem since it is considered as a criminal offense and it will be on the driver’s record for 11 years. Reckless driving is usually charged as a first class misdemeanor in Virginia. The following are the consequences of reckless
- The State’s law allows for a jail sentence of up to 12 months. Usually, if this is the driver’s first offense then it won’t result in that kind of sentence, but if the driver had repeated reckless driving convictions or has a bad driving history in general, the likelihood of a jail sentence increases.
- The maximum fine under Virginia law is $2,500. Depending on the case, an average reckless driving fine is about $300 to $1,000.
- If the driver is convicted of reckless driving, he/she may face having his/her driver’s license suspended for ten days to six months. To get his/her license back, he/she has to abide by any conditions set by the judge, which could include completion of a driver improvement clinic. The driver also has to pay a reinstatement fee to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles).
- Virginia has a complex point system for drivers. Everyone starts out at zero points and can gain positive points by having good driving behavior. If the court convicts the driver and he/she has a Virginia license, DMV will assess six demerit points. The conviction will remain on the driver’s driving record for 11 years. If he/she collects too many demerit points too quickly, DMV may send him/her to a driver improvement clinic or suspend his/her license altogether. If the driver has a license from another state, his/her home state controls the points they would get.
In addition to criminal penalties, there are a number of other ways that a reckless driving conviction can affect the driver’s life such as:
- Insurance companies have their own individual criteria for setting the rates on the driver’s car insurance policy, but it’s likely that a conviction for reckless driving will cause the driver’s insurance company to raise their rates. Some companies may even choose to cancel the driver’s policy.
- A conviction for reckless driving will result in having either a misdemeanor or felony criminal record which would last 11 year. Hence, reckless driving in Virginia is highly strict in terms of law.
- If the driver has been charged with reckless driving because of an accident, a guilty plea or a conviction may give any person who was injured or whose property was damaged to sue the driver in civil court.
- If the driver applies for a security clearance, or if he/she already has one, he/she will likely have to disclose his/her reckless driving conviction. Whether that stops the driver from getting or keeping a job as a government contractor or employee will be up to the agency granting the clearance.
The procedure that a driver goes through while either pleading guilty or fighting the case is a complicated one since the traffic laws in the state of Virginia are complex and require a professional.
Therefore, reckless driving in Virginia is pretty bad and may result in various consequences for drivers residing in Virginia or driving through.