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3 possible consequences for Virginia reckless driving charges

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Many traffic infractions in Virginia result in expensive tickets that add points to someone’s driving record and potentially increase what they pay for insurance. Other traffic violations are serious enough to warrant arrest and even criminal prosecution.

Reckless driving is one of the more serious traffic violations frequently prosecuted in Virginia. As a Class 1 misdemeanor offense, reckless driving carries numerous possible penalties should someone plead guilty or get convicted by the courts. Those penalties are often the biggest reasons to consider fighting one’s charges. These are the three most common consequences of reckless driving charges in Virginia.

License points

The state drives home the seriousness of reckless driving by making it a high-point offense. A motorist convicted of reckless driving will have six points added to their license all at once. It only requires 18 points within 12 months or 24 points within 24 months for someone to lose their driving privileges. Unlike many points, which come off of someone’s record after just two years, points from reckless driving charges usually affect someone’s license and insurance costs for 11 years after their conviction. People can expect that a major traffic infraction on their record will affect what they pay for insurance in addition to making them more likely to lose their license after subsequent violations.

Sizable fines

Many traffic tickets in Virginia cost a few hundred dollars. Speeding tickets actually require special calculations based on how much someone exceeds the posted limit, with many people paying up to $400 in some cases. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor crime rather than a civil infraction. A judge can impose a fine of up to $2,500 for a reckless driving offense.

Possible jail time

When someone pleads guilty, much is Left To the discretion of the judge. The more serious the situation seems, the more likely they will be to impose the maximum penalties. Virginia law allows a judge to sentence someone convicted of reckless driving to up to 12 months in state custody.

Learning more about the possible consequences of reckless driving allegations might help those surprised by the outcome of a recent traffic stop make a truly informed decision about whether to fight the charges or not.

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