Compared with neighboring jurisdictions, Virginia takes driving charges extra seriously. However, some people do not realize that there are major repercussions that come attached to a reckless driving charge. As a result, they make hasty decisions thinking that it will curtail future problems, only to create long-term damage to their driving record and license.
For more information about common mistakes people make with respect to reckless driving charges in Virginia, speak to a Leesburg reckless driving lawyer immediately.
The biggest mistakes to avoid in reckless driving cases are (1) not taking the case seriously, (2) representing yourself, and (3) attempting to prepay the penalty. The most common misconception is that if you are charged with reckless driving it is not a big deal. That leads to the second most common misconception, which is that if someone is charged with reckless driving and they appear in court and tell the judge their honest story the judge will likely reduce or dismiss the case.
Judges are not under any obligation to reduce your case and they exercise their discretion to decide what case to reduce or dismiss very seriously. Therefore simply appearing and asking nicely may not always be the best course of action.
The best way to avoid making serious mistakes in a Leesburg reckless driving offense is to contact an experienced Leesburg reckless driving attorney right away.
The primary reason why you should not prepay the fine for a reckless driving ticket is that you cannot. In Virginia, there is no set pre-payable penalty for the charge of reckless driving. The judge determines the fine if any on a case by case basis. The range for potential fine is extreme.
For example, it is lawful for a reckless driving penalty to have no fine, and it is also lawful for reckless driving to carry a fine of $2500. Therefore, if you simply write a check for $100 and mail it in there is no guarantee that the fine will be correctly applied for your case or that it will be sufficient.
Additionally, if you simply do not appear in court, the court can find you guilty in your absence and assess a harsh penalty or the court can issue a capias or a bench warrant for Failure to Appear. By receiving the Virginia Uniform Summons, you are making a promise to appear in court and breaking that promise can have serious consequences.
There are a number of defense strategies that a Leesburg reckless driving lawyer may employ in defending reckless driving cases. Most of the defenses are case specific and fact specific and depend on the unique facts and circumstances of your case. Some of the most common tactics an attorney will use in defense of reckless driving cases is to analyze and attempt to find an error in the scientific information of the Commonwealth.
In addition, a reckless driving lawyer in Leesburg will attempt to locate and talk to witnesses, who may have different version of the events of the case from the charging officer. They will also prepare a full file of what is called mitigation. Mitigation is not necessarily the defense on the merits of the underlying charges, but it will assist the Commonwealth is finding a reason to exercise some discretion in the prosecution of the case.
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