You should contact an attorney immediately if you are charged with a reckless driving charge. You should provide pictures when possible, write down what happened, present a letter from an employer if required, and do any number of things that might help your attorney present you in the best light.
Of course it would be best to do this sooner rather than later. An attorney would not normally require you to spend a lot of time in advance but it would be helpful. If you happen to hire an attorney late in the game, and it is close to the trial date, then it would certainly be a good idea to ask what the attorney needed so he could be prepared.
For example, an attorney may ask you to take a defensive driving class or an aggressive driving class, or perhaps to do some community service or get the speedometer on your car calibrated. Those are things you should definitely do if your attorney has asked.
That way, on the day of court, he can use it if need be. I often ask my clients to do this because it frequently makes the difference between a good or bad result.
It Is Possible To Defend Reckless Driving Charges?
There are definitely defenses to reckless driving. A lot of the charges for reckless driving begin with a police officer using a radar detector or a laser device to pace a driver. Those technical devices could be challenged through the law, as there would have to be certifications and they have to be calibrated.
The officer would need to know exactly how the device worked and he would need to be using them correctly. He would then have to certify to the court that all of those things had been checked and double checked and that they were working properly. The officer would also have to demonstrate how he did the tests that day.
This could be double checked by someone who understood the technology. For example, let us consider that the laser device was used from quite a distance away from the road. The vehicle was not approaching straight at the radar gun or the laser gun. That angle would create a margin of error because the angle of the laser beam would become the hypotenuse of a triangle where the road is one side and the right angle to the officer would be the second one.
That hypotenuse would be longer than the road the driver was driving on. By understanding the math and how the technology worked, we would be able to show that the officer’s reading was probably wrong.
Another method to prove the officer wrong would be to question him or her about the events and how they happened that day. An attorney might ask whether the officer had a good view of things, and whether he had a constant view and also perhaps if there was any reason to believe he was confused about which car was speeding.
For reckless driving, another common sense defense would apply to a driver on the road who may have done something that was somewhat risky because the road became risky at that point and an officer happened to see this take place. It could also be argued that what my client did seemed ordinary to a reasonable driver but it may have appeared risky to the officer from his vantage point.
There are a wide array of defenses that can be used in reckless driving cases.
Reckless Driving Charges Can Often Either Be Dismissed Or Reduced To Lesser Charges
In almost every instance, I am able to have a reckless driving case either dismissed or have the charges reduced. I cannot promise results, nor should any attorney. However, because of the way the reckless driving system works, we can actually achieve these results quite frequently.
It Is Possible To Appeal A Reckless Driving Conviction
Every case in Virginia that happens in the general district court, including most reckless driving cases, can be appealed. It is called a denovo appeal, which is Latin for “start over fresh.”
Someone who appealed a reckless driving conviction would get a new trial and would have the opportunity to start over. In Virginia, this would have to be done within 10 days. After that time, the person would not have a right to denovo appeal. There would be a circuit court Judge on the new court date and the accused would get to present their evidence again and introduce new evidence if available. It would be as if the first trial had never happened.
If the person was penalized in the first case, where for example they lost their driver’s license and had to pay a fine, they wouldn’t actually have to pay when they appealed and their driver’s license would not be suspended yet. If they lost the appeal, that is when the fine and license suspension would take effect.
For more information on Getting Reckless Driving Charges Reduced Or Dismissed, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (703) 691- 4366 today.