Many people charged with reckless driving are surprised to learn that this is a Class 1 misdemeanor criminal offense. As such, the ticket has the potential to affect your government security clearance in addition to leaving you with hefty fines and the possibility of jail time.
Receiving a Security Clearance
A security clearance is often a prerequisite for military service, employment in the government, or a position as a government contractor. There are different levels of security clearances that affect what level of information you have access to.
Standards for security clearances vary, but in general, a single conviction won't affect your ability to get a clearance. However, if you have other misdemeanor offenses or red flags in your record, you may encounter problems. Security clearances are awarded based on confidence in your overall character, but multiple convictions can cast doubt on your judgement.
Maintaining a Security Clearance
If you currently have a security clearance, you should consult your employee handbook to learn about specific reporting requirements. Some companies may only require that felony convictions be reported, which means you don't need to report a misdemeanor reckless driving conviction. Others will require that all offenses, even if you've only been charged and not convicted, be reported.
Failing to abide by your employer's reporting requirements may result in disciplinary action or termination of your employment. Even though you might be reluctant to discuss pending legal action with your supervisor or company HR representative, it’s important that you do so.
Protecting Your Professional Reputation
Since a reckless driving conviction can be considered a potential black mark on your application for a security clearance, it’s in your best interests to obtain skilled legal representation to help you build an aggressive defense against the charge. Virginia reckless driving attorney Charles V. Hardenbergh can help you use tactics such as obtaining a speedometer calibration or providing proof of radar calibration issues to have the charge dropped or reduced to a lesser offense. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.