When getting ticket due to being accused of reckless driving, you do have a few options. You can choose to ignore it, send a letter to the judge, go to court independently, or hire an attorney to accompany you. Each option has a set of pros and cons. In a question and answer format, we have gone into further detail about those choices to help you decide which is the best route for you.
What are the cons of ignoring a reckless driving ticket?
By ignoring a reckless driving charge, it can make matters severely worse. The short-term benefits are that you don’t have to worry about it too much right now, but you may have more serious consequences to face down the road. For very lucky folk, the officer may not submit the ticket or be too busy to show up for court. But, in more serious charges like reckless driving, such tickets are rarely mishandled.
By not responding to your charge, it is possible you will be declared guilty for a misdemeanor and receive a fine to pay in the mail. It may be in your best interest to follow requests of the officer or court, to prevent from further charges or fines accumulating.
What happens if I do not show up for court?
If you do not attend your court appointment, the judge may issue a capias for not showing up. In other words, you now have a warrant out for your arrest. Once you are in custody and meet in front of the judge that originally issued the capias, he or she will probably not be the most gentle with you when it comes to consequences. By ignoring your court date, it can be interpreted as disrespect and lacking responsibility.
Does sending a letter actually help?
Many of those who are unable to attend their court date, choose to write a letter to the judge instead. Every judge is different, and may respond positively or negatively to your gesture. He or she may appeal to the idea that you took the time to write a letter because you could not attend the court appointment. Or, if the judge needed to see you in court, then it could cause further frustration and inconvenience.
Which is better, appearing in court alone or with an attorney?
Most often, people accused of a reckless driving charge will consult with an attorney and ask for court representation. By not hiring an attorney, you are saving money. However, by having a reckless driving lawyer Fairfax, VA trusts to help guide you through the court process it can make things a little easier. It can look more impressive to the judge if you show up with proper legal assistance, versus just by yourself while hoping for the best. An attorney knows the justice system and can fight for your behalf. Many law firms offer a free consultation for new clients, which is a great resource for finding out your options before committing fully to spending the money on an attorney.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Dave Albo – Attorney for their insight into criminal defense and reckless driving charges.