Reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor in the Commonwealth of Virginia, resulting in severe penalties and long-lasting ramifications on your driving record. The consequences for motorists with a commercial driver's license (CDL) are even more dire. If you hold a CDL, you rely on it for your livelihood. A reckless driving conviction can jeopardize your career and future prospects.
An experienced Manassas reckless driving lawyer at the Wilson Law Firm can develop a strong defense so that the criminal case may be dismissed or the charges might be reduced to a less severe offense that won’t affect your CDL.
Reckless Driving Convictions and Penalties in Virginia
Many reckless driving violations in Virginia are charged as traffic citations in other states. There are many ways someone commits this offense including, but not limited to:
- Excessive speeding
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Driving too fast for weather conditions
- Failing to yield the right of way
If you violate this law and are convicted, you could face up to 12 months in jail and fines of up to $2,500. Additionally, six demerit points are added to your driving record, leading to increased insurance premiums and potential license suspension for accumulating points in a short time period. Unlike other motorists, someone with a CDL isn’t eligible for a restricted license.
License Suspension Under Federal Regulations
Reckless driving is considered a serious violation under federal regulations for commercial driver's license holders. If you receive two serious violations within a three-year period, your CDL can be suspended for 60 days. In the unfortunate event of a third serious violation within the same three-year timeframe, your CDL suspension could last for 120 days.
CDL Disqualification Under Virginia Law
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles will also suspend a CDL if the driver has been convicted of serious violations in the past. Offenses considered serious include:
- Speeding 15 miles or more over the posted speed limit
- Engaging in reckless driving in any vehicle
- Making unsafe lane changes
- Texting while operating a commercial vehicle
Under Virginia state law, if you accumulate two of these other serious violations within a three-year period, your CDL can be suspended for 60 days. However, if the number of serious violations reaches three or more within the same three-year timeframe, you could face a significant disqualification of your CDL of 180 days.