If you were speeding and stopped by the police, you may now have a traffic ticket. Depending on your actions, you may have been arrested or be facing reckless driving charges for how quickly you were moving. Did you know that reckless driving is a class I misdemeanor in Virginia? Though it is issued like a traffic citation, it is a criminal charge that you have to take seriously. Being found guilty could result in points on your license, a license suspension, time in jail and significant fines.

How Serious is a Reckless Driving Ticket?

Reckless driving is a serious offense that can lead to devastating consequences. It refers to driving a vehicle with a blatant disregard for the safety of others on the road. This can include speeding, swerving in and out of lanes, ignoring traffic signals and signs, tailgating, and engaging in other dangerous behaviors. Not only is it illegal, but it is also extremely dangerous. When a driver engages in reckless behavior, they put themselves and everyone else on the road at risk of injury or death. Reckless driving can cause serious accidents, resulting in significant property damage, physical injuries, and even fatalities. In addition to the immediate harm caused by a reckless driving accident, there can also be long-term consequences, such as disability, chronic pain, and emotional trauma.

Driving recklessly can lead to long-term consequences

Though you may think a traffic ticket isn’t going to lead to significant consequences, it can if you’re found guilty. A reckless driving ticket requires you to go to court and appear in front of a judge. If you miss this court date, the court may issue a warrant for your arrest.

Even if you go to court, there is a risk that you could face serious penalties. The maximum penalties for a reckless driving ticket include:

  • A class I misdemeanor on your permanent criminal record
  • Fines of up to $2,500
  • Increases to your auto insurance premiums, and, in some cases, the loss of your auto insurance
  • A license suspension of up to six months
  • Six demerit points on your license, which will stay on your license for up to 11 years
  • Imprisonment for up to 12 months

If you have a job right now, there is a risk that you could lose it if you are convicted of a misdemeanor. Additionally, if you have security clearances, you could lose them because of being found guilty of a criminal charge.

The bottom line is that reckless driving is a serious offense that can lead to severe consequences. It is crucial to take driving safety seriously and to always obey traffic laws and regulations. For all these reasons, it’s very important to defend yourself against the charges. It may be possible to have the charges reduced or dropped completely. For example, if the charge was based on extreme speeding, showing that you were traveling more slowly could reduce the ticket down to a typical speeding ticket. Other defenses may also help you minimize the risk of facing penalties, so you can protect your career and license.