If facing reckless driving charges in Newport News, the following is what you need to know regarding how to prepare for your court case. To learn more specific information regarding your case call and schedule a consultation with a Newport News reckless driving lawyer.
In Newport News reckless driving cases, the first thing someone should be prepared for is that they physically must be in court to answer to the ticket. There are no options to prepay for the charge so people need to plan around that and make sure they are available so that the charges don’t escalate into something much worse.
The second thing they should be prepared for is to explain what led to this ticket and why they were behaving in such a way. Or if they are pleading guilty then they should be prepared to explain to the judge why they deserve a lesser sentence or a lenient sentence.
Third, if they were driving over 30 miles per hour over the speed limit then they should come prepared to go to jail. In Newport News it is pretty common that any speed 30 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit will result in immediate jail time.
One of the most common mistakes that attorneys in Newport News see is drivers routinely mistaking a reckless driving charge for a traffic infraction and treating it accordingly. Reckless driving charges are criminal charges and are much more serious, however, it is not uncommon to have a client ask an attorney to just appear for them or if they can pre-pay the ticket in advance. This is not a possibility for reckless driving as the defendant is required to appear before the judge for criminal charges.
Another myth is that the speed doesn’t really matter. Sometimes people will be going at 100 miles per hour or more and they don’t understand that once you are reckless driving, it matters how much faster than 80 miles per hour they are going. This has a big bearing on the penalties where some judges will issue jail time based on how many miles per hour faster they were going.
The absolute biggest mistake to avoid in Newport News reckless driving cases is treating the case the same as a traffic ticket.
Attorneys have frequently seen people come into court and plead guilty without giving it a second thought, thinking that they can just get it over with and move on with their lives and accept the punishment without realizing that their actions have now gotten them a permanent criminal conviction on their record.
It is important to make sure that you are aware exactly what this charge really means and the effects it can have on somebody going forward.
Some people do not realize that reckless driving cases in Newport News can land them in jail and are surprised when they go to the courtroom and see people with the same charge be taken away in handcuffs. The best way to avoid making this mistake is to make sure that you are aware of exactly what you are charged with and that you have a lawyer by your side who can help you prepare for your case.
Having local counsel in Newport News for reckless driving matters can give a potential client the advantage of having somebody with local knowledge. Local knowledge is important because even though reckless driving is charged the same throughout Virginia, each specific jurisdiction has its own customs and rules in its courthouse.
It will be very easy for someone unfamiliar with these customs to present a defense that is routinely rejected or to say something that the court may find insulting that may have been accepted somewhere else. Meanwhile, local counsel has an awareness of each judge and will have prior experience working with the various officers, which can definitely advantageous if these are positive relationships.
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