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Reckless Driving Lawyer Abingdon, VA
For anyone, the charge of a reckless driving ticket can be extremely stressful. In most cases, you might be looking at a misdemeanor and hefty fines, but in other (rarer) cases you could be looking at a felony and jail time. If you have been charged with reckless driving, read below for more information on what to do.
Going To Trial
In almost all circumstances you cannot avoid going to trial. There is a box on most tickets underneath your signature that the officer can check if you can avoid trial. They typically will not check the box to ensure you do not miss your court date. Unlike other tickets, reckless driving is considered to be a misdemeanor charge and you cannot simply prepay your ticket.
Who Will Hear Your Case?
Usually, your trial for reckless driving will be held at the General District Court where your case will be heard by a judge only, not by a jury. When all of your evidence is presented, your judge will determine whether or not you are guilty beyond any reasonable doubt and what type of sentencing to give you. That said, if you are not pleased with the outcome of your case and wish to appeal, you can certainly appeal for a new trial with a different judge.
How Should You Act And Dress?
Although a General District Court is considered to be more informal, you are still in a court of law and should be respectful of the judge. It is typically recommended that you wear business casual attire, whether it’s a dress shirt and slacks or a skirt or dress. Wearing revealing clothing or casual clothing can give the impression that you do not care about the outcome.
Always pay attention to signs around the courthouse and rules that must be followed. Ask your attorney or courthouse personnel if any rules are unclear.
What Are Your Plea Options?
When you make it before the judge, he or she will ask you how you plead to being charged with reckless driving. When asked, you have three answers (that are typically discussed with your attorney beforehand). These are:
- Not Guilty. You admit no guilt and you require the Commonwealth to prove your charge.
- Guilty. You admit that you are guilty of the charge against you.
- No Contest. You are not disputing the evidence, but you are also not admitting guilt.
If you plead “not guilty”, you are not admitting innocence. It means you request your right to confront the witnesses against you in court. If you plead “guilty”, you are admitting that you are guilty of driving recklessly. If you plead “no contest”, you are admitting that the Commonwealth can prove the charges but you are not admitting to them.
Should I Hire an Attorney?
While you are not required to have an attorney represent you in court, it can be to your benefit to have one on your side. A reckless driving lawyer Abingdon, VA relies on at The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt might be able to discuss arrangements prior to the trial with the officer to lessen the charges or even get the charges dropped completely.