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Loudoun County Reckless Driving Penalties

If accused of reckless driving in Virginia, it is important that you are aware of what penalties you could potentially be facing for a conviction. Unlike other traffic violations, reckless driving is a serious charge that carries serious penalties, including potential high fines, jail time and loss of driving privileges.

Below, Loudoun County reckless driving lawyer Thomas Soldan discusses these penalties and how a reckless driving charge can influence your license. To learn more or to seek representation, call today and schedule a free consultation.

What Are The Differences Between Reckless Driving and Traffic Ticket?

The most common difference between reckless driving and a traffic ticket is that reckless driving is a criminal offense. Specifically, reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor. This means that receiving a reckless driving ticket or a reckless driving summons is punishable with 12 months in jail, a fine of $2500 or a combination of those. However, a traffic ticket for just speeding or failing to yield the right of way or failing to the highway sign is a traffic infraction, only punishable by a maximum $250 fine.

Additionally, reckless driving is a criminal offense. This means that if you are found guilty of reckless driving, then in addition to criminal penalties, it will also likely appear on someone’s criminal record. They could be fingerprinted to go into a national database and they will have to answer “yes,” if they’re asked if they have been convicted of a misdemeanor. However, a traffic ticket only appears on someone’s driving record. This is the only time and place that the citation would appear. Reckless driving appears both as a criminal offense, and in the case of a Virginia driver, on their Virginia driving record.

What Are The Penalties Associated With a Reckless Driving Conviction in Loudoun County?

The penalty for reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor, whether in Loudoun County or anywhere else in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Reckless driving is punishable by up to 12 months in jail, a fine of $2,500 or a combination thereof. In addition, if you are found guilty of reckless driving and you are a Virginia licensed driver then you’ll be assessed 6 demerit points for a period of 11 years. These penalties (fines, jail or loss of license) are assessed by a court not by a clerk’s office or by a fee schedule.  So if you are charged with reckless driving, you can’t simply mail in a check the way you can if you were given a speeding ticket or a seat belt charge. You must appear in court, or in some select instances, have counsel appear on your behalf.

Are There Any Penalties Against An Individual’s Driver’s License?

Yes. For convictions of reckless driving, the impact on someone’s driver’s license can be very severe.  For a Virginia licensed driver, reckless driving carries six demerit points for a maximum period of 11 years. This is a very serious penalty from the Virginia DMV. The Virginia DMV assigns certain enumerated offenses with 3 demerit points, 4 demerit points or 6 demerit points. Reckless driving carries the maximum amounts of points (6) for the maximum period of time which is 11 years. In addition, certain types of reckless driving offenses may result in the loss of driving privileges or the loss of Virginia driver’s license.

High speeding cases, accident cases involving alcohol, and racing cases are all examples where the court may suspend someone’s license for a reckless driving conviction. The potential outcome for reckless driving conviction is six months loss of license depending on the facts and circumstances of your case. You may be eligible for a restricted license during that period. If you’re an out of state driver, a reckless driving conviction varies greatly state by state. In addition, Virginia can suspend your privilege to operate in Virginia but they cannot suspend your out of state driver’s license itself.

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