What Should I Expect From a Newport News Reckless Driving Case?

Reckless driving in Newport News is a serious charge that comes with severe repercussions for a conviction. For this reason it’s important to seek legal counsel as soon as you are charged, in order to give yourself the best opportunity to minimize harm. However, because a reckless driving charge seems so similar to a traffic ticket, and the process is somewhat different from other criminal cases, many people can be confused about what they should expect from a reckless driving case.

Below, Newport News reckless driving lawyer answers questions about what people should expect if they are charged with reckless driving in Newport News.

What Can I Expect About The Process of My Newport News Reckless Driving Case?

If someone is charged with reckless driving in Newport News the process is similar to that of a regular driving ticket. The driver will have to show up in court on the date noted on the summons. The arresting officer will be present and he will tell the judge what happened in order for the driver to be charged with reckless driving in the first place. The driver will then either admit guilt or plead his case. The facts of that particular case will be what make the biggest difference in what to expect such as how fast they were going or whether there was an accident involved. The specific circumstances will weigh heavily on whether someone is convicted and if they are what the penalty would be. They should expect that the court will treat their case seriously and therefore they should be prepared with an attorney by their side.

Are You Typically Arrested in Reckless Driving Cases?

When someone is charged with reckless driving it is the same process as a typical traffic ticket. The law enforcement officer will issue the driver what is called summons with all of the information about the court and the date and the driver will be released immediately. The summons is similar to a ticket but it is actually a replacement for an arrest and when you sign it you are promising to appear in court. Because of having the same process as a regular driving ticket, a common misconception that people have is that the reckless driving charge is just a simple traffic offense and they are not always aware that a conviction results in a Class 1 Misdemeanor on their criminal record. Obviously this may be a very costly mistake to make.

What Does The Prosecution Need to Prove in a Reckless Driving Case?

In Newport News there is no prosecutor involved in the reckless driving cases usually. Instead it is the law enforcement officer that charged the driver to begin with.

For a speed related reckless driving case which is the most common, the law enforcement officer will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was either driving over 80 miles/hour or was going 20 miles/hour over the posted speed limit. This can involve many steps which a good defense attorney will make sure the officer goes through properly. The officer should testify that the equipment used to determine the driver’s speed had been properly calibrated and within a certain amount of time.

In other types of reckless driving what has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt is that the driver was indeed doing whatever the reckless behavior was that he was charged with such as passing a school bus while it was loading or unloading passengers.

What Are Some of The Evidences That Are Typically Presented in These Cases?

Evidence in reckless driving cases consists of the police officer’s testimony that made the traffic stop and issued the summons. If the charges are a result of a traffic accident it can include more types of evidence such as photos of the vehicle and any damage, photos of any tire skid marks if they were present and testimony from witnesses involved in the accident or that happened to see the events unfold. Typically though the evidence is just the police officer, his report with the speed of the driver, and the readings from the radar gun. The police officer would testify as to what he witnessed that gave rise to issue of the summons.

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