How Long Does a Reckless Driving Conviction Stay on My DMV Record?

Two records could affect various aspects of your life and create multiple challenges – your DMV record and a criminal record. If a court convicts you of reckless driving in Virginia, it could stay on your DMV record for up to eleven years. It could also remain on your criminal record unless you’re able to get those records expunged.

Common Types of Reckless Driving Violations

Virginia Code § 46.2-852 defines reckless driving as driving a vehicle on any highway recklessly or in a manner or at a speed that endangers the property, life, or limb of any person regardless of the maximum speed permitted by law.

Common types of misconduct considered to be reckless driving offenses include:

  • Passing another vehicle while approaching the top of a hill or a curve with an obstructed view
  • Driving a vehicle without proper control or adequately adjusted brakes
  • Driving with an obstructed view to the side or front of the vehicle or while someone or something interferes with the driver’s ability to control the driving mechanism
  • Attempting to pass or passing two vehicles alongside each other
  • Driving side by side with another vehicle in a one-vehicle lane
  • Passing or overtaking a vehicle at an intersection or railroad crossing
  • Passing a stopped school bus under specific circumstances
  • Failing to provide timely and adequate signals before stopping, turning, or slowing down

Penalties for Reckless Driving in Virginia

Other than administrative penalties, such as license suspension and a blemish on your driving record, criminal sentencing is possible. Reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Penalties include:

  • Up to a $2,500 fine;
  • No more than twelve months in jail; or
  • Both.

It could become a felony if the reckless driving offense causes someone’s death. Sentencing depends on the factors involved. For example, reckless driving while under the influence is a Class 5 felony punishable by up to ten years in prison and a maximum of a $2,500 fine.

When Is a Reckless Driving Conviction Removed from a Driving Record?

Reckless driving is a serious offense in Virginia. It will automatically go on your driving record with the Department of Motor Vehicles if you are convicted. Additionally, your record will receive six demerit points.

It takes eleven years for the conviction to fall off your DMV record. That’s why it’s vital to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately following your arrest or charge. If you can get the charge dropped or the entire case dismissed, you could keep it from having an effect on your driving record.

Effects of Reckless Driving on a Background Check

Since reckless driving is a criminal offense, a conviction will end up on a person’s criminal history. That means anytime that person is subject to a background check, as they might be for a new job, they won’t be able to hide their criminal past.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) reports misdemeanor crimes on criminal background checks for no more than seven years. However, this only applies to the information that private businesses can see. Applying for a job with the government or another entity that requires security clearance could mean a criminal background check that extends farther back than seven years.

Contact Us

At Pincus Goodman, P.C., our criminal defense attorneys in Virginia Beach, VA, have decades of legal experience. We know how to fight criminal charges to secure our client’s freedom and future.

A conviction for reckless driving shouldn’t result in long-term consequences. We have the resources and skills to create an effective legal strategy and try to get the charges reduced or dropped.

Call a Virginia Beach criminal defense attorney from Pincus Goodman, P.C., today at (757) 301-9634 for a confidential consultation if you were arrested for or charged with reckless driving.


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