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In Virginia, a reckless driving conviction is a class I misdemeanor. The potential penalties include jail time, suspension of driving privileges, and a fine of up to $2,500.00. Additionally, a conviction will result in six demerit points on your Virginia driver’s license. Some other states have reciprocity agreements with Virginia, meaning a Virginia reckless driving conviction may appear on your driving record even if you live in a different state. You may have to explain that misdemeanor conviction at inconvenient times throughout your life, such as when applying for a job or security clearance.
A person charged with reckless driving, if they show that their actions, while they do show insufficient care or failure to properly operate a vehicle, but are not truly serious enough to reach the level of reckless driving, may instead be convicted by the court of the lesser included offense of improper driving which is a much less serious offense, and is not a criminal conviction. This potential reduction in level of offense is only available at trial, as a law enforcement officer can only write a traffic ticket for reckless driving, they do not have the ability to write a ticket for improper driving.
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