Whether you've been convicted of reckless driving as a standalone offense or have pleaded guilty to reckless driving as part of a DUI plea bargain, you may be wondering about the effect this conviction will have on your driver's license and insurance costs. Many states will suspend your driving privileges for some period of time following your conviction, and you'll likely be dropped from your auto insurance policy while your license is suspended. You may find it difficult to obtain auto insurance even after getting your driving privileges back. What can you do following a reckless driving conviction to improve your insurability? Read on to learn more about obtaining insurance after a reckless driving conviction and how you can keep your insurance costs low over the long term.
What happens after your reckless driving conviction?
Once you've pleaded guilty and the judge has accepted your plea (or the judge or jury pronounces you guilty), the court will issue a conviction and sentencing order and send a copy to your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) with any instructions on the status of your driver's license. At this time, the DMV will place a suspension on your driver's license. Because there's always the risk that you'll be arrested again, it's often up to you to file the necessary forms to have your driving privileges reinstated.
If you need to drive in order to get to work or school, you'll likely be able to obtain a limited exemption to this suspension. If you're pulled over while traveling between home and your workplace, you'll be sent along—but if you're pulled over in another town or out of state, you may be subject to arrest for driving on a suspended license.
After your privileges have been reinstated, or while you're driving under a conditional license, you'll need to obtain auto insurance if you've been dropped from your policy. Being dropped can sometimes be a blessing in disguise, because by shopping around for the best rates, you'll ensure you're paying the lowest possible cost. Remaining with your original insurer may be convenient, but could also lead you to pay higher prices than necessary.
In addition to shopping around for the lowest insurance rates, you may want to be proactive in reducing your driving risk. By taking defensive driving courses or other skill-building classes that demonstrate your commitment to safe driving, you may be able to qualify for lower rates (even while still carrying a conviction).
Are there any options to help reduce your insurance costs long-term?
A reckless driving conviction can remain on your driving record for years, sometimes even decades. For example, a reckless driving conviction in Virginia (and its accompanying 6 demerit points) will remain on your DMV record for 11 years. Depending upon the insurance policies offered in your area and your state's own laws, you may be required to carry higher-priced SR-22 insurance for some or all of this time. Getting additional speeding tickets may add points to your license that will raise your insurance costs even further, so practicing safe driving habits is one guaranteed way to prevent your costs from increasing.
If you live in a state that assesses lengthy terms, one way to reduce your insurance costs is to have your conviction expunged. While this option isn't available everywhere (or for every defendant), it can be a way to wipe your driving and criminal records clean. If you can demonstrate you've maintained a clean driving record since your conviction and provide some other indicators of personal growth, the court may choose to expunge your conviction and remove it from all associated documents. Unlike having a record sealed (the presence of which, although not the content, may be searchable), having a record expunged literally erases it from record.
For further information about insurance after a conviction, check out a website like http://www.greatnortherninsuranceagency.com.Share
4 March 2016
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