If you have recently been convicted of reckless driving, you may wonder what your options are. The good news is that in the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is possible to appeal a reckless driving conviction. The downside, however, is that you have to file the appeal within 10 days of your conviction. You are automatically guaranteed the right to appeal a conviction from general district court. However, you cannot appeal your conviction if you plead guilty to the charge because a guilty plea means that you waive your right to appeal by admitting guilt for the crime with which you were charged.
Appealing a reckless driving conviction means that your case will be a trial de novo, which means that it will be completely new. The problem with this is that you have to start back at square one in circuit court, the appellate court for general district court cases. In some situations, this is a good thing because you could potentially end up with a different prosecutor or judge – or it could be worse if the judge determines to verify your guilt or increase your penalties if found guilty again. However, since the case is heard in circuit court, you could also submit a request for a jury trial. That would add another layer to the process of appealing your case and could lead to a very different outcome depending on the evidence.
An experienced reckless driving appeals lawyer can help you determine the best course of action for your case. You may be unhappy after defending yourself or having a less experienced lawyer handle your case, and an appeal is a much more complex process. If you find yourself thinking of appealing your case, give us a call. We can provide the attention and experience you need to improve your legal situation so you can move on with your life.