1) Get a free consultation from a reckless driving attorney. Most reputable reckless driving attorneys will give a free consultation over the phone or in person. So even if you think you might not need an attorney for your reckless driving case, at least get a free consultation. There is just no reason not to.
2) Get a copy of your DMV record from each state you’ve been licensed in for the last 5 years. If you are charged with reckless driving one of the most important factors in determining your punishments will be your DMV record. Never go to court on a reckless driving charge without knowing what is on your DMV record.
You DO NOT need a certified or notarized copy of your DMV record so do not spend the extra money. If your state offers you a choice between how far back you want the DMV transcript to go, choose the period of time that will make your driving history look the best (For example: If you have recent tickets get the lifetime record but if you got some tickets five years ago get a three year record).
· Virginia license holders can get their record from any DMV location or go to the DMV website at https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/dmvnet/pin_maint/pin_logon.aspx?SESS=NEW
· Maryland drivers can go to the MVA website at https://securetransactions.mva.maryland.gov/emvastore/%28S%28ylr0ghe5tjkjfwecmakzpg3z%29%29/MustHave2.aspx
· DC drivers can get their record online at https://public.dmv.washingtondc.gov/BusinessPages/DL/DriverRecord/DL_DR_Search.aspx
3) Write a detailed summary of your reckless driving case. Before your memories fade, write down everything that happened and everything that was said. Your conversations with law enforcement or witnesses are particularly important to your reckless driving case. Your trial may occur months after the incident so preserving your memories is vitally important. This incident write up can also help you communicate with your reckless driving attorney.
4) Take a Virginia Driving Improvement class if you have a bad record or a serious reckless driving case. The class is eight hours with a final exam. Drivers who are 21 or older have the option of taking the class online. The online classes cost around $45 and the in-person classes cost about $75. For a list of online Driver Improvement Classes click here (http://www.dmv.state.va.us/drivers/#pcbased.asp). For a list of in-person driver improvement classes click here (http://www.dmv.state.va.us/drivers/#clinics.asp ).
Virginia Drivers are allowed to take the class once every two year to get +5 points added to their record. Virginia drivers should get a copy of their DMV transcript after completing the class so that their new record reflects the point increase from taking the class.
Out of state drivers should sign up for the “out of state" driver improvement class to avoid having to come to Virginia to take the final exam. This class will not affect your DMV record if you are an out of state driver.
If your record is extremely bad or you reckless driving case involves road rage, aggressive driving or is just a very serious case, you may also want to take the Virginia in person Aggressive Driving class through the Fairfax County VASAP program. http://www.vasap.state.va.us/locateanasap/fairfax.html. This is a 4 hour in person course.
5) Get your Car’s Speedometer Calibration [For reckless driving by speed cases]: Take your car to a mechanic and get the speedometer calibrated. Most cars speedometer are 1-3 mph off and 80% of speedometers are low. You can take your car anywhere you like, just make sure that whoever does the calibration gives you documentation of what speeds they tested the car at and what the results of the test were. Here is a link to a list of places in Northern Virginia that do speedometer calibrations. http://virginiatrafficcourt.com/virginia-speeding-tickets/speedometer-calibrations.html
Luke J. Nichols
Nichols & Green pllc