As with all criminal charges, if you are convicted of reckless driving, you will need to disclose (if asked) the conviction in a background check, which means that potential, and sometimes current employers will become aware of it. This leaves many people wondering to what degree can it affect their employment situation, and whether there is anything they can do to ensure that the conviction does not negatively impact their career. While the answer to this question often depends on the employer, the best way to avoid a reckless driving charge impacting your future is to work with a Fairfax reckless driving lawyer, who may be able to prevent it from becoming a part of your record. I'll tell you more below, as well as when Kassabian & Kassabian, P.L.C. can help!
Will Reckless Driving Show up on My Record?
For the most part, reckless driving is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor offense, a criminal charge in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In very severe cases, however, it can be charged as a Class 6 felony. You can read more about this in my blog here.
Regardless of whether you are convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor, the conviction will show up on your record. When an employer who is considering you for a position runs a background check, they will see it. Additionally, if you are asked in a background check if you have ever been convicted a misdemeanor, yes!, you will need to disclose the reckless driving finding.
Once you have been convicted, there is unfortunately not much you can do to have the crime removed from your record. In other words, it will be visible to employers. (There are rare exceptions to this, in cases where the driver was wrongly convicted. If you are worried that you were wrongly convicted, get in touch with a reckless driving lawyer serving Fairfax as soon as you can.)
In addition, a reckless driving conviction will result in Virginia DMV accessing 6 demerit points to you Virginia driving record.
Will Reckless Driving Cause me to Lose my Job?
While a permanent criminal or driving record certainly isn't good news, the degree to which it will affect your job will depend on the employer. Some employers take certain crimes more seriously than others. If you are convicted of a felony, an employer may choose to terminate you or refuse to hire you, but some employers will respond quite differently to misdemeanors. It always depends on the employer hiring, so don't assume that you will be unemployable.
If you are a licensed professional, you should keep in mind that most professional licenses in the Commonwealth of Virginia can be renewed, even after a reckless driving conviction, which can go a long way toward ensuring that you will remain employable. Additionally, after a reckless driving conviction, you will still legally be able to perform most jobs.
On the other hand, just because you can legally do a job, it does not mean you will necessarily be hired to do that job. Even for a misdemeanor reckless driving charge, you could be denied employment or terminated. This is especially true if you drive for a living, as your employer could face expensive liability insurance rates. It could also call into question whether or not you are a safe enough driver to keep company vehicles free from damage.
Reporting Convictions on Job Applications
If you have any criminal charge on your record, you will often need to report it as part of your employment application. Your current employer may also require you to report crimes you have been convicted of. While it can be tempting to omit the situation from your application or to keep it from your boss, it is in your best interest to answer honestly.
That said, if you are applying for a job, pay special attention to the language used on the application. For example, some questions may ask if you have ever been charged with a crime, while others may just ask about convictions; some may ask about felonies specifically, but not about misdemeanors. Answer the questions honestly, and report what you have been charged with if asked but remember that you do not need to provide any information that isn't requested. Even if you were not convicted of reckless driving, if the application asks about whether you have been charged with a crime, you need to respond accurately. This is true even if your case was dismissed.
Failing to report when asked or reporting inaccurately on an employment application, can be worse than admitting to the charge, and may be viewed by the employer as lying or being deceitful. Most employers would not look positively on this.
In addition, some employers will ask direct questions about your driving record, in which case you should respond accurately. Sometimes the application will specify that traffic violations do not need to be included. But in this case, remember that reckless driving is a criminal charge, and that it is more serious than a minor infraction or traffic violation.
When a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
If you are facing a reckless driving charge, the best-case scenario is that you keep it off your record. A good way to do this is often by working with a qualified and experienced reckless driving lawyer. A good lawyer can often prevent such a charge from impacting you by getting the charge reduced or in some cases, dismissed.
John Kassabian has been practicing as a criminal defense attorney for over 25 years. As a Fairfax reckless driving lawyer, he has helped many people get a reckless driving charge reduced and even dismissed. He may be able to help you as well.
If you are unsure whether a lawyer can help, get in touch with Kassabian & Kassabian, P.L.C. Initial consultations are always free and John can help give you a clearer understanding of your rights and tell you whether or not a lawyer may be able to benefit your case.