If you have been given a traffic ticket in Virginia by a police officer, you should immediately get the details of what offense you are charged with. Many individuals confuse reckless driving ticket with a speeding ticket; however, getting rid of a reckless driving ticket is a much more complicated task. Majority of times people who get a reckless driving ticket have no idea about the court’s proceedings. However, it is important to know how the court works.
Step 1 the Arraignment
The very first step is an arraignment. There is a huge difference between arraignment and trials. Arraignment is a process where the judges give you three options:
- Where you are given an option to hire an attorney.
- Where you are given an option to waive your right to an attorney.
- Where you are given an option to ask for a court-appointed attorney.
Arraignment is the initial hearing of the court in case you have potential chances of jail time. However, this step can be skipped if your reckless driving is not very serious.
- Your ticket may have arraignment
- Get in contact with the court
- Call your attorney
Step 2 the Trail
The rule for reckless driving states that you have to appear on your trail.
If this is your first trail for reckless driving class one misdemeanor, it will most probably be taken place in the General District Court.
The prosecutors of Virginia or the commonwealth attorney’s presence will only be needed in your case if it is sensitive in nature.
Step 3 the Plea
When the trial starts, the judge of the court will begin your case using the following statements:
“Mr. ABC, you are charged with reckless driving, 95 in a 55 zone. How do you plead?”
The convicted person has three choices to deal with this statement
- Plead guilty – That is when you admit the crime but put forward reasoning to minimize the penalties.
- Plead not guilty – When you do not admit the crime and the Commonwealth attorney is supposed to prove your crime.
- Or No contest – When you decide not to fight the evidence.
Step 4 Plead not guilty (Testimony):
In case you have pleaded not guilty, the judge will ask the prosecutor or the charged officer to take the case. He will fairly brief regarding the incident and present the related evidence if there are any.
Step 5 Plead guilty (Your testimony):
Although you have an option to choose no contest, as the law has given you the right to not incriminate yourself. Here, you briefly describe the details of the incidents along with any other arguments, records or apologies.
Step 6 Decision:
After hearing to both sides and getting the hands on the evidence, the court tells their decisions and penalties if there are any.
- The convicted individual has 30 calendar days to pay off their fines.
- In case of imprisonment, you will be immediately handed over to the sheriff and you are required to complete your jail time.
Your driving license will be immediately suspended for the specific period decided by the judge.