Virginia uses a point system to evaluate drivers. Understanding how this point system works will help you know what to expect from your reckless driving charge, since accumulating too many points on your driving record results in a license suspension.
About the Point System
Every driver starts with a 0-point balance. Demerit points are given based on the seriousness of the offense, with penalties of three, four, or six points.
Reckless driving is the most serious violation and earns you six demerit points on your driving record. Speeding 10 miles over the speed limit, unsafe passing, and failure to yield are examples of some of the different violations that earn four demerit points. Speeding less than 10 miles over the speed limit, impeding traffic by driving too slow, improper U-turn, and failure to obey highway signs are some examples of violations that receive three demerit points.
Accumulating 12 points within 12 months or 18 points within 24 months results in a license suspension unless you agree to complete a driver improvement clinic within 90 days. Accumulating 18 points in 12 months or 24 points in 24 months results in an automatic suspension with the requirement to complete a driver improvement clinic before your license can be reinstated.
Removing Demerit Points From Your Record
Demerit points stay on your driving record for two years after the offense was committed. However, the offense itself will still remain visible on your driving record after the points are removed. Depending on the specific offense committed, your conviction can remain on your record for as few as three years or even permanently.
To speed up the process of removing demerit points, you can earn points for safe driving. You earn one point for each full calendar year you hold a valid Virginia driver’s license without any violations or suspensions. You can accumulate a maximum of five safe driving points this way.
You can also receive safe driving points by completing a driver improvement clinic. You can earn five safe driving points, once every 24 months, for completing a state-approved course.
Fighting a Reckless Driving Ticket
If you already have a high number of demerit points on your record, fighting your reckless driving ticket is a must. To see results from cases we've handled in situations similar to yours use our reckless driving sentence estimator, free of charge. Call attorney Charles V. Hardenbergh to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.