If you have been charged with reckless driving, one of the first things you should do is check your ticket. You might even want to look up your case and verify the time and date for your court date along with the judge assigned to your case. Reckless driving court dates vary depending on where your case is being heard. Your first court date will be an arraignment, which is a court appearance where you will be advised of your right to an attorney. Arraignments are assigned for cases where criminal charges are being brought against you.
If you miss your arraignment, the judge may issue an arrest warrant. If you cannot make your arraignment because you’re out of town or you have a conflict that you cannot avoid, you should contact the court. In most instances with the right time and preparation, the clerk of courts or presiding judge will grant you a continuance. Most courts in Northern Virginia require at least three business days to process a request for a continuance, so you should plan to apply as soon as possible if you think you’ll need a continuance.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need an attorney to be present at the arraignment but it can be useful. In most, but not all, instances, your reckless driving attorney can attend the arraignment on your behalf or get the arraignment waived so that you don’t have to worry about it.
After the arraignment, your trial date will be set. In Virginia, misdemeanors are assigned bench trials, which means that a judge presides over your case and determines whether you are guilty or not guilty for the charge. If you or someone you know has been charged with reckless driving as a felony, it’s possible to get a jury trial. An experienced defense attorney can help you determine if a jury trial is the right decision for your unique legal circumstances.
Ultimately, having an attorney by your side can help with the stress involved with managing a serious criminal charge. Representation by an experienced reckless driving attorney also improves your chances of lessening the consequences of a possible conviction. Court dates can be complex and worrisome. You might be worried about how to deal with police officers, the prosecutors, and judges. Or perhaps you don’t even live in Virginia, and you’re wondering what might happen to you if you’re not able to go to court. No matter your circumstance, there’s something that can be done.