S & R Law Firm
How to Help Your Lawyer Get a Reckless Driving Charge Dismissed or Reduced
Based on the specific facts of your case, your attorney may ask you to complete a few tasks before court. You may think, why do I need to complete a driver improvement class or community service, it’s just a reckless driving ticket! Because we practice in Fairfax County every day we know what would be helpful to have in negotiating a reduction in your ticket. We would not ask you to complete a task that is meant to waste your time or money.Driver Improvement Classes
Some recommendations include driver improvement classes, community service, or calibrations. For records with multiple tickets or tickets with high speeds we often recommend taking a driver improvement class or two. Depending on the type of ticket you currently have and/or what past tickets are on your record, an online or an in-person driver improvement class might be best. There are several different types of classes that you can complete that will help you avoid a misdemeanor conviction. For example, many of those who are charged with reckless driving tickets are charged because they were speeding. The speed will make the difference on what class you should take. The standard driver improvement class is 8 hours and can be done online. The 8-hour online class is normally reserved for lower speed reckless driving tickets or those who have a few tickets on their record. There is also an 8-hour in-person class. The in-person class is normally used in cases where the speeds are higher than normal and there are aggravating circumstances such as negative points on your driving record or more serious driving behavior accompanied with the speed. Finally, there is a 4-hour aggressive driving class. This class is offered after completion of the 8 hour in-person class. Normally a person is informed to complete both the 8 hour and 4 hour in-person class when the driving behavior seems particularly dangerous either with a very high speed or a bad accident.Calibrations
One of the things we hear most from our clients is that they did not feel like they were going as fast as the officer says they were. Sometimes, they are correct! If you have an older or modified vehicle your speedometer may not be accurate. After asking you a few questions about your vehicle we may suggest you go to a local shop to get your speedometer calibrated. What if it comes back not in your favor? We do not need to use it in negotiations!Other Suggestions
While a driver improvement class or calibration maybe the most obvious suggestions in preparing for your case there are a few other recommendations that only a Fairfax County Reckless Driving attorney would know to recommend such as an apology letter, community service, and more depending on your case.So What are the Potential Outcomes in my Case?
Each outcome is dependent on the specific facts of your case and the prosecutor involved. There are around 30 prosecutors in the Fairfax County courthouse and they rotate through the 5 (sometimes more or less depending on the docket) traffic courtrooms each day. Each courtroom handles around 150 cases and the prosecutors are only able to speak to attorneys and officers. Because the prosecutors are not assigned until the morning of court, there is no way to negotiate your case prior to the court date listed. The prosecutors in Fairfax County have more discretion than some surrounding areas which lead to a variety of results depending on the situation. During your free consultation, we can discuss the likely outcomes based on your specific ticket.What if I Choose to Come to Court?
If you decide to go to court without an attorney you will be speaking directly with the judge. That judge may inform you to get an attorney or let you handle the case that day without one.
If you hire an attorney to help you and you chose not to have your appearance waived, then we ask that you get to court around 9:15 a.m. and meet your attorney outside of the courtroom. If you hired your attorney in advance of the court date, your attorney will have entered their appearance and your name will not be called until your attorney notifies the court that the case is ready. Your attorney should be able to inform you of your courtroom the date before court but if it is not available until the morning of, your name will appear on a screen on the first floor passed the security.
The dockets in Fairfax are normally very full and heavy which is why we try to waive your appearance in court. However, if you do attend we call the day before to give specific instructions on where to meet and what your courtroom is. We ask that you meet your attorney outside the courtroom and head inside once your attorney has met with you. Once inside the courtroom, your attorney will speak with the prosecutor and the officer and come get you with an offer. This portion may take 30 minutes to several hours if the docket is full. Once an offer is accepted your attorney will walk you through the change in consequences and what it means for your record moving forward.Nova Defenders is on Your Side
Don’t assume that a reckless driving ticket in Fairfax County, Virginia, is harmless. It’s a criminal charge that can follow you around for a long time, just like a DUI, no matter where you live.
You may consider representing yourself in court because of cost concerns. But if you do, you’ll be unable to speak to the prosecutor, the police officer, or anyone else in court, since legal counsel is only allowed to do so. But how much would you lose by not hiring a reckless driving attorney who can successfully defend you and protect your rights?
If you’ve been ticketed and/or arrested recently for reckless driving in Fairfax County, or anywhere in the Commonwealth of Virginia, call one of our Fairfax County reckless driving lawyers today for a free case consultation at 703-273-6431 (or use our online contact form.)