Virginia police officers take road safety seriously and will not hesitate to write tickets for minor violations. Drivers often choose to pay the fine, so they can retain their driving privileges and move on with their lives.
If you have been charged with a reckless driving offense, however, you will face more penalties than a fine and an increase in your car insurance premium. Having a reckless driving conviction on your criminal record has lasting repercussions.
What you need to know about reckless driving charges
In Virginia, police often write reckless driving tickets for driving 80 miles an hour or 20 miles or more over the speed limit. In addition, officers can use their discretion when citing motorists for reckless driving, which means that you can also face charges if the officer believes you are operating your vehicle in a way that could put another’s life or property in danger. Drivers can be charged with reckless driving for racing, passing a school bus or committing other violations.
The steep penalties attached to this conviction
A reckless driving charge is a criminal matter and carries steep penalties. As a result, this conviction can affect more than your wallet.
The maximum penalties for this conviction are:
- A 12-month jail sentence
- A six-month license suspension
- A $2,500 fine
- A six-point driver’s license demerit penalty which remains on your license for 11 years
Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) maintains records of all in-state drivers. Having demerit points on your driver’s license puts your driving privileges at risk. If you accumulate too many demerit points in a year, your license could be suspended for an extended period, affecting your ability to get to work or school.
Learning about the consequences of this charge can help you make smart choices behind the wheel. Maintaining a safe level of speed and following the rules of the road can keep your criminal record and your license clean.