Was pulled over a few weeks ago for passing a school bus (lights were yellow when I started passing, turned red before I was done)... Is this automatically considered reckless in VA? It does not specifically say reckless on the summons from the officer. What can I do to get it reduced and avoid misdemeanor/fines/points/jail time?
In Fairfax County, it is almost impossible to have it reduced unless you get an attorney to assist you. As to whether it is considered Reckless, check the numbers near where it says "passing school bus." If the number by it is 46.2-859, it is statutorily a reckless driving charge for passing a stopped school bus. If it is a different number (which I doubt), then it may not be reckless.
This is an extremely serious matter. Consult with an attorney.
No attorney/client relationship is formed between the attorney responding to this question and the individual asking the question.
This is an instance where you definitely need to hire local counsel. The case may be taken out of Reckless but you still may have 6 demerit points. The Commonwealth has to satisfy certain criteria for the bus and other factors. An attorney will know which code section or county code provision is most advantageous to the client. The cost of higher insurance costs with a Reckless or Passing School Bus conviction would justify hiring counsel as well.
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