Will My License Be Suspended for a Reckless Driving Ticket in Virginia?
Reckless driving is one of the most serious traffic offenses you can face under Virginia law. If you have been cited or arrested for reckless driving, you may wonder whether your license will be suspended if you are convicted. After all, the loss of your driving privileges can have a major, negative impact on your personal and professional life.
In many cases, a reckless driving conviction will not automatically result in the suspension of your driver’s license. However, the law does make suspension an option for a conviction for the many different types of reckless driving charges.
If you have been charged with reckless driving in Richmond or elsewhere in Virginia, you need an experienced lawyer who can help you understand your legal options and advocate on your behalf for the best possible outcome. A knowledgeable reckless driving lawyer can also help you pursue potential alternatives if your driving privileges are suspended due to a reckless driving conviction.
To learn more, contact Upton Law, PLLC today for a free case evaluation with an experienced Virginia reckless driving attorney. Attorney Samantha Upton can meet with you to discuss your legal rights and provide a realistic assessment of all the options available to you.
How Many Points Will Be Added to My License for Reckless Driving?
A reckless driving conviction will result in the imposition of six demerit points on your Virginia driving record.
However, drivers can earn safe driver points by avoiding demerit traffic offenses or by voluntarily attending a driver improvement clinic. Drivers in Virginia earn one safe driving point for every calendar year that they do not commit a traffic violation or criminal traffic offense. A driver can carry up to five safe driver points. So, if you are convicted of reckless driving, and you have a maximum of five safe driver points, you will lose all your safe driver points and have a demerit point on your record.
For most drivers, accumulating 12 points in a 12-month period or 18 points in a 24-month period will result in being placed on DMV probation. A driver will also be required to complete a driver improvement clinic. Young drivers may be required to attend a driver improvement clinic or face a driver’s license suspension for any demerit point traffic violation.
Other Penalties for Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is considered a criminal offense in Virginia. So, a conviction can result in the imposition of criminal penalties. Typically, reckless driving is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a potential sentence of up to 12 months in jail and a possible fine of up to $2,500.
Under Virginia Code § 46.2-393, if a driver is convicted of one of several types of reckless driving offenses, the court can also impose a driver’s license suspension of at least 60 days to up to six months. (That penalty is in addition to the authorized sentence.)
Following a reckless driving conviction, your insurance company may assess points as part of its own points system, which may result in an increase in your insurance premiums. The insurance company could also decline to renew your policy or cancel your policy outright.
Because reckless driving constitutes a criminal offense, a conviction will result in having a criminal record as well. A criminal record can have long-lasting effects on your personal and professional life, including making it more difficult to maintain or apply for housing, employment, security clearances, or educational or financial opportunities.
Getting a Restricted License
If your driver’s license is suspended due to a reckless driving conviction, you might consider petitioning the court for a restricted license. A restricted license – also called a work license or hardship license – allows you to continue driving under certain restrictions. A restricted license may be issued to allow you to drive to work or school or for other necessities such as attending medical appointments.
The conditions of a restricted license may allow you to only operate a motor vehicle to and from certain destinations. It could also limit your driving to certain hours of the day, or it may restrict you from having passengers in your vehicle. If you are caught driving a vehicle outside of the conditions of your restricted license, you will be cited for operating a vehicle without a driver’s license.
If the court chooses to grant you a restricted license, you will need to submit an application and the required fee to the Virginia DMV for the agency to issue your restricted license.
How a Virginia Reckless Driving Lawyer Can Help You
Virginia reckless driving lawyer Samantha Upton can help take the pressure off you by:
- Reviewing the facts of your case to provide you with an honest assessment of your options and the likely outcome.
- Taking care of all the details so you never have to worry about going to court if you are a driver from out of state.
- Preparing all factual or legal defenses against your charges.
- Negotiating with prosecutors to seek a dismissal of your charges or a reduction of your charges to a less serious offense such as improper driving.
- Arguing on your behalf for a lenient sentence in the event you are convicted on your reckless driving charge, including advocating for no suspension of your driving privileges under Virginia Code § 46.2-393.
- Drafting and arguing a petition to grant you a restricted driving license in the event your driving privileges are suspended due to a reckless driving conviction.
If you have been cited or charged with reckless driving in Virginia, call or contact Upton Law, PLLC today for a free consultation. Learn more about how a Virginia reckless driving attorney can help you if you are facing the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license or CDL for a reckless driving offense.