Reckless Driving Tickets in Brunswick, VA
Brunswick County, Virginia is a well known speed trap on I-85. The Brunswick County Police Department as well as the Virginia State Police can often be found hidden throughout the insterstate. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, driving 81 mph or over is considered “Reckless Driving”. Therefore, since the speed limit on I-85 is 70 mph, driving only 11 mph over can warrant a reckless driving charge.
Read more about reckless driving in Virginia
Reckless Driving is a class 1 misdemeanor in the Commonwealth of Virginia. A misdemeanor will stay on your criminal record for the rest of your life and generally can’t be expunged. Misdemeanors can affect job applications and jeopardize both a security clearance and Commercial Drivers License(CDL). Additionally, a conviction will also add 6 points to your driving record and can affect your insurance rates.
Why hire a lawyer for Reckless Driving
Don’t prepay your ticket
Prepaying your ticket (paying the fine before your court date) is pleading guilty to Reckless Driving. As you read above, this will come with several consequences. By hiring an attorney, or appearing in court yourself, you are given the opportunity to lessen or eliminate the consequences of your ticket.
Avoid a court appearance
Many people are unavailable on their court date or uncomfortable with the taking on the whole process on their own. Many of my clients are from out of state which makes appearing in court a huge inconvenience. Therefore, one of the biggest advantages to hiring an attorney is avoiding the trip back to court. A lot of clients want to avoid coming to court due to the pressure of appearing in front of a judge to defend a misdemeanor. In this case, it makes sense to hire a lawyer who is familiar with the process to handle everything in your place.
Hiring someone with experience
In the past few years, I have handled over 100 cases in Brunswick General District Court. As such, I am very familiar with the policies of both the judge and the court. I am able to honestly and fully inform my current clients as to what to expect and prepare their case in such a way that appeals to the particular judge.
Defenses to Reckless Driving
Errors on the Ticket
Tickets can be dismissed as a result of errors in the content of the summons. Errors such as a wrong offense date on the ticket can result in a dismissal. Additionally, sometimes an officer will write down an incorrect code section that results in a dismissal.
Police officers, deputies and troopers are required to have their radar calibration certificate at trial. The certificate also must be an ORIGINAL or a true copy (certified copy). ORIGINAL or a true copy (certified copy).
If I ask the officer to present proof of his radar’s calibration and he/she:
- Fails to have it
- Has an expired Certificate of Calibration
- Has a photocopy and not a true copy
the judge will dismiss the ticket under the Code of Virginia. I have been able to use this defense on several occasions.
If my client believes they were not travelling the speed they were ticketed, I will recommend getting their speedometer calibrated. Speedometer can be inaccurate for a number of reasons:
- Tires that are larger than factory tires
- A new differential/transmission
- Low or high tire pressure
- Faulty, Damaged or Aged Components
Many auto shops will have the equipment required to calibrate a speedometer. Once calibrated, they will give you a certificate displaying how inaccurate your vehicle’s speedometer was before calibration. The certificates should contain a table comparing the displayed speed and the actual speed such as this:
If the certificate shows that your vehicle’s speedometer reads a number lower than the vehicle is actually traveling (see chart), it can positively affect your trial.
Mitigating Facts Which Can Help Your CaseIf the facts or your case are sufficient to be found guilty, I can often get a charge reduced or dismissed dependent on several factors.
Policies regarding driving school are different between judges as well as the court you are in. Some judges do driving school for a reduction or dismissal whereas others will not since it adds more time and work to their clerk’s office. The result of completing driving school (dismissed or reduced charge) usually depends on the driving record, the judge, and the severity of the speed. When driving school is ordered, my client’s case is continued for two or three months during which the driving school must be completed and submitted to the court. In cases of very high speeds speeds (over 90 mph), I will advise my client to complete driving school before trial in order to put their case in a better light during trial. Some judges will view this as being proactive and others see it as presumptuous. Therefore, it is important to know your particular judge.
Good Driving Record
Having a good driving record is very important if there is enough evidence to convict you. Many judges will reduce a charge for having a good record. Every judge requires a copy of my client’s driving record in order to reduce or dismiss a charge. In most cases, a judge will not amend a Reckless Driving charge if you are a habitual offender to the extent that they have a lot of prior moving violations.
Community Service and Driving School
In cases in which the speed is high enough to where my client is as risk for jail time, it may be advisable to recommend that he/she complete community service time at a local non-profit. It is crucial to understand your particular judge’s policy as well as what his/her threshold is. Some judges start putting people in jail at 90 mph and up. Others will do it at 100 mph.