If you have received a Virginia Reckless Driving charge, you are probably scared and wondering what you could do before court to help mitigate the offense or what proactive steps you can undertake that will be useful in court. As a prosecutor, I was always most moved by the attorneys that presented me with a reason why their client could not have the reckless driving conviction coupled with the significant efforts that they undertook before court. Depending on the seriousness of the offense, all or just some of the following mitigation efforts should be undertaken.
1. Get Your Speedometer Calibrated
If you are charged with Reckless Driving by Speed, this could be one of the most effective things you could prior to court to help mitigate the offense. If you are over the reckless driving cusp by a 1 or 2 miles per hour, this mitigation effort could get you a speeding ticket, but many times, just reducing the speed helps mitigate the offense and gives a prosecutor the justification he needs to reduce the offense.
Almost any body shop in Virginia can do a speedometer calibration and some driving schools will also do it. A simple search should yield the results you need to find a shop that can provide this service for you.
2. Take a Driver Improvement Course
Taking a driver improvement course is another thing you can do to mitigate the offense against you. You can do the course in person or online; however, you should be careful because some jurisdictions want you to take it after court, in person, and submit proof to the court. Make sure you consult with an attorney before undergoing this effort on your own. Acceptable clinics can be found on the Virginia DMV Website.
3. Take an Aggressive Driving Course
If your case is more serious or you have a bad driving record, sometimes taking an Aggressive Driving Course coupled with a Driving Improvement Course will assist in negotiations with the prosecutor or before the judge. These classes are commonly taught through your local Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) or privately. Some courts, like Arlington, offer a a driving behavior management program in lieu of Aggressive Driving classes. Be sure to talk to a local attorney to see if this is something you should do prior to court.
4. Perform Community Service
Performing community service could be the single most important mitigating effort you undertake. Some judges give a lot of consideration to this effort or order it to be completed prior to reducing a reckless driving charge. While most lawyers only recommend this in the most egregious cases, knowing your jurisdiction is paramount before undertaking this mitigation effort.
As a former prosecutor in two Northern Virginia jurisdictions, I can help resolve your Virginia reckless driving case.