How many Points will I Receive on my Virginia Driving Record for a Reckless Driving Charge?

When speaking with potential clients charged with reckless driving, in Virginia, I find one of the largest concerns they have is the number of points they should expect to see on their driving record. This question becomes more complicated for out of state drivers. For an article discussing points for out of state drivers please click here. I am able to provide a more clear answer for virginia drivers. 

First, if you are found guilty of reckless driving, in Virginia, you will receive 6 dimerit points for your driving record. Furthermore, a reckless driving conviction will stay on your driving record for 11 years. Finally, if you are convicted of reckless driving, the judge may suspend your license for up to 6 months

In many instances, I able to negotiate with the prosecutor and judge for a reduction or even dismissal of the reckless driving charge. Below I will discuss some of the common reductions I see in court and the corresponding points:

Speeding 20 or More Over the Speed Limit

There are instances where a client may be charged with reckless driving, for traveling 20 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit. Some times in these cases the judge may be unwilling to reduce the speed but instead amend the code section to that of simple speeding or improper driving. This would avoid the misdemeanor conviction and criminal record for the client. Unfortunately, this is still considered a 6 point violation.  

Speeding 11-19 Over the Limit

Speeding 11-19 over the limit is a 4 point offense in Virginia.  It can be very beneficial for driving records and insurance rates to have a reckless driving charge reduced to speeding 11-19 over. This reduction is often utilized in cases where the defendant is charged with traveling 20 miles per hour or more above the speed limit and the judge is not willing to reduce the charge further. I will also see this sort of reduction for clients charged with reckless driving for traveling over 80 miles per hour. Often the alleged speed and/or driving record may prevent the judge from being willing to reduce the charge further.  A speeding 11-19 over conviction will remain on your driving record for 5 years. 

Speeding 1-9 Over Limit

Speeding 1-9 over the limit is lowest tier of speeding offenses, in Virginia, and as such only carries 3 points for your driving record.  In many instances this reduction can prevent your insurance from being effected especially, if you have a good driving record. While this is a 3 point violation in Virginia, in other states it will not carry any points as long as you maintain a clean driving record. A conviction for speeding 1-9 over will remain on your Virginia driving record for five years. 

Improper Driving

Improper driving is a very unique offense in Virginia.  While all of the above mentioned traffic violations can be charged by an officer, improper driving is specifically reserved for judges and prosecutors as a mechanism to reduce reckless driving charges.  Therefore, police officers do not have the authority to charge you with improper driving on the side of the road.  Additionally, improper driving allows the judge to set a higher fine as compared to simple speeding.  The maximum fine allowed for a speeding violation is $250, while improper driving allows for a $500 fine.  This can be a very valuable tool to convince a judge or prosecutor to reduce a more borderline case, on the assumption the court will set a higher fine.  Many judges are willing to reduce a reckless driving charge to improper driving when they are unwilling to reduce the charge to speeding.  It is important to speak with an attorney who is aware of all possible reductions for your case and how best to request those reductions.  I offer free consultations and invite you to contact me today so that we can discuss your case and the likely outcomes, (804) 451-6033 or email.