What To Do After a Reckless Driving Charge in Loudoun County
Below, Loudoun County reckless driving lawyer Thomas Soldan discusses what you should do as soon as you are charged with reckless driving, and where your case will most likely be heard. To discuss your case further or seek legal representation, call and schedule a free consultation today.
What Are The Top Three Things Someone Should Do Immediately After Being Cited For Reckless Driving?
#1 Get a Copy of Your Virginia Driving Record
The very first thing I will have anyone charged with reckless driving deal is to go online or in person to a local Virginia DMV and get a copy of their Virginia Driving Record. This will give me insight into their past driving history and it allows me to see what the officer sees when they look at driver’s background.
#2 Get Dynamometer Test Done on Vehicle
The next thing I would have you do is that if the case involves speeding, and reckless driving by speed is a very common charge, is to go to a local shop to have a certified speedometer calibration test on their vehicle. This test is performed on a machine called a dynamometer.
#3 Write Brief Account of What Took Place
The third thing is I would have anyone charged with reckless driving do is to write a brief narrative on the facts and circumstances of the stop. Write a paragraph, or two at most, about what they were doing that day, what their driving behavior was immediately prior to being pulled over, and most importantly what the conversation between them and the charging officer included. It’s very helpful in understanding the circumstances in the client’s own words. After we discuss those three things then, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case and the person’s record, I can make additional recommendations, but it’s a case by case decision.
Where Are Reckless Driving Cases Heard in Loudoun County?
If an individual is charged by reckless driving in Loudoun County and given a summons or a warrant of arrest, the case will initially be heard in the Loudoun County General District Court. The Loudoun County General District Court is located at 18 East Market Street in the town of Leesburg, Virginia. It is approximately one block from my office and it is where I practice on a daily basis.
The courthouse complex has two floors. After entering security, the General District Court is located approximately one-half flight of stairs down from the main entrance on the right. There are two courtrooms that generally hear traffic matters in Loudoun County, courtroom 1C and courtroom 1D. You could also be in courtroom 2F and that is located on the second floor.
Are Reckless Driving Cases Usually Heard Before a Judge or a Jury?
In the General District Court, a judge only decides guilt or innocence and does the sentencing if the reckless driving matter goes to trial. However, General District Courts in Virginia are courts not of record. . That means that any ruling by that court is subject to appeal, which means that if the defendant is found guilty they can appeal the adverse finding of the General District Court to the Circuit Court. In a case of reckless driving, if you’re convicted of reckless driving by a judge in the General District Court, then you can appeal that to the Circuit Court of Loudoun County. This occurs after noting your appeal which must occur within ten days of your conviction.
Your case will be then be heard in the Circuit Court at which time you will notify the court whether or not you wish to have a jury trial or have another bench trial. The only time a reckless driving charge is tried before a jury in Virginia is when it is appealed. By statute, there are no jury trials in General District Court.