Reckless Driving charges in the Commonwealth of Virginia have serious consequences for ordinary drivers with standard driving licenses. The charge is a Class One misdemeanor, punishable by loss of license by the Court for up to six months, fines of up to $2,500, and potential jail time up to twelve months. The majority of people charged with this offense do not receive jail time; they may just receive a fine on the misdemeanor. However, the stigma of a Reckless Driving conviction lasts a long time and can have unforeseen consequences.
CDL Holders suffer more penalties from a Reckless Driving conviction than other drivers. People with Commercial Drivers Licenses may not receive a restricted license to drive for work if their regular license is suspended by the court. This policy is enough for most CDL Holders to seek dismissal or reduction of a Reckless Driving charge.
In addition, the Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) classifies Reckless Driving as a "Serious Violation" for purposes of disqualification of the license. Other types of "Serious Violations" include Speeding 15 miles per hour over the limit, Texting While Driving, Improper Lane Change, and Following Too Closely. Two "Serious Violation" convictions within three years results in a mandatory 60 day disqualification of the CDL. Three or more "Serious Violation" convictions within three years results in a 120 day disqualification of the CDL.
The extensive Virginia DMV CDL Disqualification List is available online. Please note that the DMV does not care if the driving conviction occurred while driving your own private vehicle or your work vehicle. It will impose the same disqualification of the CDL upon notice of repeated convictions. Disqualification does not affect your regular driving privileges in the State - only the CDL privilege. But it effectively takes away your livelihood and most drivers will lose their jobs.
In addition to these punishments, CDL holders receive the same blemish on their driving records as other drivers. A Reckless Driving conviction stays on the driving record for 11 years. Insurance rates go up dramatically when convicted of this charge. The DMV also requires that you pay an expensive reinstatement fee once the disqualification period ends.
In summary, it is important that CDL holders consider the impact on their driving career if charged with Reckless Driving in the Commonwealth of Virginia. CDL Holders need an experienced traffic lawyer who can help mitigate the charge by getting it dismissed or reduced to a traffic infraction that is not considered a 'Serious Violation.' Often, the attorney can obtain reduction to the traffic infraction of Improper Driving, Failure to Obey a Highway Sign, Defective Equipment, or even a county code violation that does not go on the driving record. These reduced charges are not "Serious Violations" that will result in a CDL Disqualification.
Attorney Yeargan can recommend specific steps that the driver should take before court to improve their chances of dismissing or reducing the charge. These may include: completing a driver improvement course, obtaining a speedometer calibration of the vehicle used during the offense, and community service hours. Contact a lawyer to get advice about your specific case circumstances - the advice can vary based on the facts of your traffic stop and your driving record.
Contact An Experienced Traffic Lawyer in Fairfax County, Virginia That Serves Locations Throughout the State of Virginia
The Law Office serves many jurisdictions through the state and can help you if you receive a ticket for Reckless Driving. The lawyer may be able to appear in court on the client's behalf to avoid loss of client time off work. An authorization form may be signed in many cases to allow representation in court without the client's presence. Contact the law office at 703-352-9044 if you need assistance with your pending traffic ticket for Reckless Driving. Attorney Yeargan serves Fairfax County (Herndon, Vienna, Falls Church, the City of Fairfax), Prince William County (Woodbridge, Manassas, Haymarket, Occoquan, Dumfries), Arlington County, Loudoun County, the Northern Neck area of the state (Westmoreland County, King George), Warren County, Alexandria City, Stafford County, Caroline County, Hanover County, and many other locations throughout the state.