There are several interesting myths about how to beat a Virginia reckless driving charge. One is that your case will automatically be dismissed if the arresting officer fails to show up for your court date. Although this would certainly be convenient for you, it's simply not true.
Virginia's Process for Setting Court Dates
Typically, Virginia courts will assign each officer one court day per month. All of his cases will be handled on the same day, which makes it easier for officers to avoid missing appointments. However, officers may still be occasionally unavailable for court appearances due to illness, injury, or family emergencies. When an officer can't make the court date, he will usually request that the case be continued until the next month. This ensures that the officer can present all of the necessary evidence.
If the officer doesn't show up for court, doesn't have a valid excuse for the absence, and ignores attempts to schedule a new court date, your case may be dismissed. However, this almost never happens. Law enforcement officers know that appearing in court is not optional, and they can be disciplined by their employer if they fail to perform this responsibility.
A Better Way to Handle Your Reckless Driving Case
It’s not prudent to simply hope that the arresting officer will forget your court date. Doing so is likely to leave you with substantial fines, the possibility of jail time, sky high insurance rates, and a criminal record. The best way to handle the situation is to work with a skilled attorney to build a solid defense.
To reduce or drop a reckless driving change, you have several different options. For example:
- Attend a driver improvement clinic
- Complete community service
- Have your speedometer calibrated
- Present mitigating factors such as a medical emergency or roads that weren't clearly marked with speed limit signs
Virginia defense attorney Charles V. Hardenbergh is committed to helping Virginia drivers handle both misdemeanor and felony reckless driving charges. Schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation to discuss the best way to proceed with your case.