If you are charged with reckless driving or another traffic offense, you may be able to reduce the penalties associated with the charge by taking a court-approved defensive driving class. However, the success of this tactic depends on the judge. Some place no value in Virginia’s driver improvement clinics. Others have very specific requirements about what type of clinic can result in a reduction.
Virginia's Driver Improvement Clinics
If you are required by the court to complete a driver improvement course, you will have 90 days to pass the final exam. No extensions are allowed unless you are attending college outside of Virginia or are a member of the military/military dependent and stationed outside the state. Here are some other important facts about driver improvement classes:
- There are driver improvement clinics located throughout the state, and you can search for a location near you on the Virginia DMV website. Online options are also available. These courses provide the bulk of instruction from the comfort of your own home, but you'll need to visit a testing site to complete the final exam. No books or notes are allowed during the final exam, and you'll be required to show proof of identity before you begin.
- The cost of a driver improvement clinic varies according to the provider, but Virginia caps the fee for court-approved defensive driving school at no more than $100.
- Drivers under age 20 or those who committed their offense while under age 20 can't use an online course to satisfy a DMV or court requirement. They are limited to using driver improvement clinics with in-person classroom instruction.
Other Benefits of Defensive Driving School
Even if taking a defensive driving class won't get your charge reduced, completing this course may still be beneficial. These courses cover various defensive driving techniques that can keep you safe on the road. You can also earn safe driving points on your driving record and potentially receive certain auto insurance discounts.
Seeking Legal Assistance Following a Reckless Driving Charge
To learn more about your options following a reckless driving charge, contact Virginia defense attorney Charles V. Hardenbergh to schedule a free consultation.