A reckless driving charge can result in serious criminal penalties, like fines and jail time.
However, this charge can also impact your life in other ways. For instance, you might lose your job and your good reputation in the community. Also, you face ongoing financial consequences, like increases to your auto insurance rate.
How Insurance Points Systems Work
Some states have an insurance points system. This system assigns a point value for driving violations that corresponds to a set increase in insurance premium rates. Virginia does not have a system that works exactly like this.
Virginia Demerit System
Instead, Virginia issues demerit points when you get a driving violation. You will be on probation if you accrue twelve negative demerit points in a twelve-month period or twenty-four negative demerit points in eighteen months.
While on six months of probation, if you are convicted of another demerit point violation, you will have your license suspended for up to ninety days. A reckless driving conviction is worth six demerit points, half of the total points that would put you on probation.
Insurance Points System
Besides Virginia’s state demerit system, insurance companies have a points system that determines your rate. Using this points system, some insurance companies determine insurance premium rates based on factors such as:
- Age of the driver,
- Length of time with the insurance policy,
- Driving record,
- Number of accidents in a year,
- Whether the reckless driver harmed a person or property, and
- Whether the reckless driving charge was because of speeding.
Each negative factor on your account adds another point by which your premium is multiplied. If you have enough points, you might have to pay much higher rates.
How Reckless Driving Impacts Your Insurance Rates
So how does reckless driving affect insurance? When you are convicted of reckless driving, Virginia issues six demerit points that stay on your driving record for 11 years. Your insurance company issues you negative points that usually stay on your policy for three to five years.
Increased premium rates take effect when your policy renews, as insurance companies cannot raise your rates while you are in an existing policy term. However, if you change your policy, the insurance company can raise your rate at that time. For instance, by moving or adding another car or driver, you could face an immediate rate increase.
Even though your insurance company cannot change your rate in the middle of your contract term, you should expect some premium increase when your policy renews. If your reckless driving conviction seems too severe to the insurance company, they can cancel your policy.
Contact a Traffic Attorney for Help
As you can see, the impacts of a reckless driving conviction reach far beyond the courtroom. While hefty fines and jail time are alarming enough, you also face a reckless driving insurance increase. However, you don’t have to accept these consequences without a fight. To effectively challenge your reckless driving charge, you need a skilled defense attorney.
I, attorney Andrew Flusche, have been helping drivers get their charges reduced or dismissed for years. I aim to educate and empower drivers through efforts like my book on reckless driving.
When you hire me, I promise to do everything I can to get your reckless driving charges reduced or dismissed. Call today for a free consultation.