Is it worth fighting a reckless driving ticket, no speeding involved, only sworving around a car to miss someone hitting me?

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Is it worth fighting a reckless driving ticket, no speeding involved, only sworving around a car to miss someone hitting me?

what are the chances of this ticket being reduced due to the nature of the incident? I

Asked on July 5, 2009 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

There's always a chance that a good attorney can get this reduced for you; particularly given the circumstances - you were trying to avoid an accident.  You do not want this on your record; in Virginia a charge of reckless driving is considered to be a misdemeanor. 

The fact of the matter is, you should always contest a VA reckless driving charge.  If there were no other issues during the traffic stop, most Virginia courts will reduce the violation to a simple speeding ticket.  However this still carries a stiff six point count with the possibility of a major increase in you auto insurance and a fine in the neighborhood of $500.  If you are a VA driver, you will be subject to the reckless driving $1050 surcharge payable to the VA DMV on top of the court fine if the judge does not reduce.

You should contact an attorney on this.  Who knows, this is a fact sensitive area of the law and perhaps they can get the charge thrown out.  When you do look for a lawyer, preferably get one that specializes in traffic offenses (like a DUI attorney).  They will know the court personal as well as be versed in this type of law.  They will than best advise you on how to proceed.

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Although I do not practice law in the state of Virginia, here are my initial impressions.  Although reckless driving seems more like a "ticket" rather than an arrest, in many states it is often treated almost as seriously as a driving under the influence charge.  Therefore, if the charge is defensible you should not simply enter a plea and suffer the resulting consequences.  Moreover, in some states prosecutors will try to get you to use up one of your "diversionary" programs - that are available to first time offenders- for a reckless driving charge.  What this means, from a practical perspective, is that if you use up a program on this charge it will not be available to you if and when you are ever charged with this crime, or anything more serious, in the future, and therefore you will likely suffer more serious consequences at that time compared to if you still had your diversionary program available to you.  Therefore, you should definitely consult with and/or retain an attorney to obtain the most favorable resolution of this charge as possible.


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