Because reckless driving is taken so seriously in Virginia, it is important that those accused know what to expect in court, and where their case will be held. If you have been charged with reckless driving in Culpeper County, it is pertinent that you contact an experienced attorney immediately. A knowledgeable Culpeper reckless driving lawyer can craft a strong defense to help ensure that your penalties are either reduced or dismissed.
If an individual is charged with reckless driving in Culpeper County, their case will be most likely be heard in the Culpeper County General District Court, which is located in the town of Culpeper. If the individual themselves, however, is a juvenile or the reckless driving involves either a juvenile or a family member as a victim, then their case will be heard by the Juvenile and Domestic Relations General District court, also located in the town of Culpeper.
In most cases, the person will be charged with reckless driving using a summons which the officer will issue to them at the time of the traffic stop. From there, they will be instructed by the summons to make a first appearance in the Prince William County General District Court. At that hearing, the court will advise the individual of their right to counsel.
If an individual has contacted an attorney prior to that time, then typically the attorney will appear either in person, or by a letter. Many times, the individual will not have to appear themselves. Typically, a trial date will be set at the first hearing. Assuming the individual has contacted an attorney, there will be an investigation that the attorney will undertake of the facts and circumstances of the case.
It will be important for the person to secure a driving record so that it can be evaluated in connection with the other facts of the case, together with other important pre-trial steps one can talk to an attorney to learn about. Following, there is a trial where the court makes a determination of guilt or innocence. In many cases, plea agreements are reached on that hearing date.
Reckless driving cases are usually heard by a judge. The charge of reckless driving is a misdemeanor, which means that a General District Court judge will hear the case when it is brought to trial. If an individual is convicted of reckless driving in the General District Court by a judge, they have a right to appeal that case and ask for a new trial in the Circuit court.
At the point their case reaches the Circuit court, an individual has the right to ask that the matter be heard by a jury. However, this is relatively uncommon, and the vast majority of cases are in fact resolved at the General District Court level by the judge.
The judges and prosecutors in Culpeper County treat reckless driving cases very seriously, especially any cases that involve accidents or excessive speed. These are cases where if individuals are convicted, it is not unusual for active jail to be imposed, for their driver’s license to be suspended for a period of time, and for a significant fine to be imposed. While all jurisdictions treat reckless driving cases seriously, Culpeper County is among the toughest jurisdictions to receive a reckless driving charge in because the penalties are frequently more significant in that county than in other counties.
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