Out of State Drivers

Although you may not live in Virginia, a traffic summons received within the commonwealth will often follow you home.  A conviction for a traffic offense in Virginia can carry very significant consequences for your driver’s license and driving record in your homes state.  Each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles has their own system for determining the number of points you will receive for any given offense.  In many instances it is possible to receive a greater number of points on your driving record than you would if you had a Virginia drivers license.  For instance until recently in Washington D.C. a reckless driving conviction in Virginia would result in 12 points going on your driving record which created a mandatory license suspension.  This was particularly appalling to many Washington D.C. drivers who were convicted of a reckless driving charge as low as 81 miles per hour in a 70 mile per hour zone and ultimately had their license suspended.  The D.C. DMV now has greater discretion when dealing with these types of reckless driving cases, but the point remains the same that a Virginia conviction can have far reaching consequences.

Another important example of a disparate impact on an out of state driver comes from our neighbor to the south, North Carolina.  In North Carolina, your license will be suspended if you are convicted of driving more than 15 miles per hour above the speed limit in a 55 mile per hour zone.  This becomes particularly important in cases where the judge may be hesitant to reduce a charge out of reckless driving completely, but a competent traffic attorney can convince the judge to reduce the charge below that threshold to keep that individuals license from being suspended. 

A judge suspending your privilege to drive in Virginia can have an effect on your ability to renew or get a new license in your home state.  Additionally, whether or not a Virginia traffic conviction will affect your driving record in your state, reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor and will have an effect on your criminal history.  Reckless driving convictions will often have serious consequences for security clearances as well as job opportunities in the future.  If you have received a traffic summons in Virginia contact me today for a free no obligation consultation.