Q: I have a case of Reckless Driving by Speed, but won't the Court just reduce it to Speeding if I go in Without an Attorney?
For Reckless/Speeding cases, involving speeds over 80 MPH, many folks will be convicted of Reckless Driving, while many other cases will be reduced by the Courts or the Prosecutor. In my experience, the two biggest factors in determining whether a case will be reduced are the actual alleged speed (e.g., 81 MPH, 85 MPH), and then the driving history of the person accused of driving that fast. A good record would make it more likely to see the charge reduced. With an attorney, your case will be reviewed by the Commonwealth Attorney for that courtroom, and I will have a chance to negotiate a plea agreement hopefully to a reduced charge of speeding or improper driving. Most likely, speeding, and perhaps speeding at a lower speed. Without an attorney, many folks will have success getting a charge reduced, depending on the speed, and depending on their record and other factors. However, for a citizen without an attorney, the process is entirely different. Without an attorney, your name will be called, and the Judge will want to hear either "guilty" or "not guilty". If you plead guilty, you will likely be found guilty. If you try "guilty with explanation", or "not guilty" then you need to be ready to say something else. That is your quick chance to convince a Judge to reduce the charge. If you have evidence to present, the officer will go first, and then you will have to respond. If you are computer friendly: I suggest that you might want to go to the Court's web page and look at various cases and their results. Type in a day-- Thursdays are usually a good day. When you go in by date, scroll down a few pages, hitting the "next" button, to get past the first few pages, which contain a lot of older cases from last year or early this year. Then, look for anybody with "Reckless" or a Speeding of 74/55 or higher. The speeding cases are cases that might be a reckless that got reduced. Look for "original charge" and "Amended Charge".