7 Things That Will Happen When Charged with Reckless Driving

Closeup of a young redhead woman driver correcting her makeup with dark red lipstick looking in car rearview mirror behind steering wheel of a vehicle.

No one expects to get in trouble with the law, but it does happen from time to time. If a police officer deems that you’ve been driving in a manner that could cause harm to an individual or property, then you could face a reckless driving charge.

The scope of reckless driving is pretty broad and can include anything from using a device while driving to excessive speeding. Regardless of what caused the charge, there are some common consequences of reckless driving that may apply. In this post, we’ll run through some things that will or could happen if you’re charged with reckless driving.


You’ll Be Charged With a Crime

Many incidents on the road fall under the umbrella of traffic infractions, but that’s not the case with reckless driving, which is treated as a class 1 misdemeanor. That means that you will likely be arrested and taken to jail until you post bail. The process after that depends on how severely the reckless driving is judged, though it could require you to appear in court.

You May be Subject to Fines

The punishment for reckless driving varies from case to case, but it can often involve fines that run into the thousands of dollars if no defense is launched. There’s often a fine for the crime, and this fine can increase if the incident results in property damage. You’ll likely receive a higher fine if you’re a repeat offender.

Jail Time is a Possibility

Though it’s unlikely for first-time offenders, jail time is a possibility. That option is usually reserved for people who have repeatedly been in trouble with the law for reckless driving or other incidents on the roads. If you’re at risk of jail time due to reckless driving, it’s imperative that you get in touch with a reckless driving lawyer as soon as possible. They will be able to fight on your behalf to keep jail time to a minimum, or even eliminate it completely.

Your License Will Be At Risk

The courts can decide to revoke your driving license if you’re found guilty of reckless driving. The length of time that your license will be invalid will depend on the severity of the incident but could be up to six months. This can make running errands extremely difficult. And if you need to drive as part of your work, then your job may be at risk, since many employers require that their drivers have a clean license. A lawyer can help you fight the charges using a wide variety of strategies, which could help you to keep hold of your driving license.

Your Insurance Premium Will Go Up

Nobody wants to spend any more than necessary paying for their insurance, but that’s just what might happen if you’re found guilty of reckless driving. Insurance companies take into account a wide variety of factors when deciding how much to charge a driver for insurance coverage. If you’ve been found to be driving recklessly, then the insurance company will naturally deem you to be an at-risk driver who’s more likely to be involved in an incident on the roads.

Longer Term Consequences

As we mentioned earlier, reckless driving is considered a crime — and if you’re found guilty, you may well have a criminal record. This can make it more difficult to find employment, get loans, or find housing.


The best way to avoid reckless driving consequences is to drive extra responsibly. However, if you’ve already been charged with this crime, then that won’t be an option; you can’t go back in time to prevent the police officer from charging you with a crime. The best approach is to think of what you can do moving forward. Your best chance of avoiding some of the consequences outlined above is to work with a trusted reckless driving lawyer who has extensive experience in helping people like you successfully defend reckless driving charges. There is a wide range of strategies that can help your defense, but only if you work with the right lawyers.


Have you been charged with reckless driving? Then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at BernsteinHough, P.C. Our team has an in-depth understanding of Virginia’s driving laws and is ideally equipped to launch a defense that minimizes negative consequences. Contact us for a free consultation.


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