Under Virginia law, reckless driving is considered a criminal charge and not a simple traffic violation. However, it's unlikely that you would be handcuffed or taken to the station if you were charged with this offense.
Your Ticket Is a Summons to Appear in Court
When you're pulled over for reckless driving, the paper ticket the officer gives you is actually a legal summons replacing traditional forms of custodial arrest. There will be a date, time, and location listed where you are expected to appear in court.
When you sign the ticket, you're promising to appear in court to address the charge. If you refuse to sign or the officer has reason to believe you don't intend to come to court, you can be taken into custody and booked on the charge. Therefore, it's in your best interests to sign the ticket regardless of whether you believe you're guilty of the offense.
The Court Process
After you receive a reckless driving ticket, it's important not to panic. The penalties associated with the charge are significant, but an experienced attorney can often get the charge reduced or dropped. There are a number of different defenses that you can use, such as obtaining a speedometer calibration, arguing that your conduct was due to a medical emergency, or agreeing to complete a driver improvement clinic.
When you appear in court, it's recommended that you dress conservatively in business casual attire. Be polite and respectful throughout the process. If you choose to testify, keep your testimony concise and stick to the relevant facts. If you will need special accommodations due to a disability or limited command of the English language, you should have your attorney request the necessary accommodations ahead of your appearance.
If you aren't a Virginia resident or you are worried that you won't be able to take time away from work to appear in court, your attorney may be able to appear on your behalf. To learn more about your options, call today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case review with Virginia defense attorney T. Kevin Wilson.