The state of Virginia has the dubious honor of having the highest number of reckless drivers. It has 279% more reckless drivers than the national average. These alarming statistics have caused lawmakers in the state to take a more aggressive approach to implement harsher consequences for those caught driving recklessly. If you’ve received a reckless driving ticket, you know that it isn’t a normal driving infraction ticket. It is a criminal misdemeanor. Having one on your record can result in widespread consequences. This can lead you to ask, how do I remove a reckless driving conviction from my record?
How Long Does a Reckless Driving Conviction Stay on Your Record?
You will be convicted if you do not fight your reckless driving charge. This is why you should never pay the fine and do nothing. If this happens, the conviction will stay on your record for 11 years, with no options for removing it.
Juvenile records are handled differently. The general public does not have access to a juvenile’s criminal record. If a juvenile or someone under the age of 18 gets convicted of reckless driving, it will automatically get expunged after five years have passed and after they turn 19 years old.
How Can I Get a Reckless Driving Charge off My Record?
There are specific situations where someone could get their reckless driving record removed. How you handled the initial charge can preserve or eliminate your removal options later. This is why many people choose to speak with a lawyer early on. An experienced lawyer can advise you on how to best handle your charge.
Get the Charges Reduced
If you are facing reckless driving charges, one option is to get them reduced. If you can convince the court to reduce your reckless driving down to a traffic infraction, it is no longer a misdemeanor and won’t appear on your background check or criminal record.
The process of expungement is the legal method for removing a criminal charge from your record. It is only available in certain circumstances, and you cannot pursue this option if you were convicted of the charge.
- You were acquitted
- Your charges were dismissed
- You were pardoned
The reckless driving charge remains on your record if you do not go through the legal process of expungement. However, once completed, expungement completely removes the reckless driving charge from your record. Speaking with a Virginia reckless driving attorney could help you understand if you qualify for expungement and the process required.
Reckless Driving Record Expungement Process
To have your record expunged, you must file a petition with the Circuit Court where you were initially charged. You will also get fingerprinted. Once filed, there is a waiting period. A copy of your petition gets sent to the Commonwealth’s attorney, and your fingerprints to the Central Criminal Records Exchange in Virginia (CCRE) during this time.
A hearing will get scheduled where you and your attorney, if you have one, will argue why you should have your record expunged. Typically, this includes how the record makes it hard to secure employment or housing. Showing rehabilitation with a clean driving record can also make convincing a judge to grant the expungement easier. The Commonwealth’s attorney may raise objections. It is then your turn to counter-argue these points. Should the judge approve the expungement, it gets removed from your public record.
Several websites pull and aggregate public data. Criminal records are a part of this. Just because you have expunged the official court record does not mean you have erased all records online. If you are concerned about this, you can consider a service that can help you clean up your online record after the court expunges your official record.
When Reckless Driving Can’t Be Removed
The state of Virginia outlines who cannot get their reckless driving conviction expunged. In these situations, you will have a criminal record that includes this driving infraction.
- You pled guilty
- You were convicted
- You pled nolo contender or no contest
- You entered an Alfred plea
- The judge deferred or dismissed your charges after the successful completion of an educational course
- The judge dismissed the case, but there was sufficient evidence to convict