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Reckless driving in Fairfax Cty VA, a RL exp

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? Virginia

So you got a RD in Va, guess what? You aren't alone. :)

After looking through several threads I wanted to post a real life incident that tries to incorporate a lot of the arguments and ideas spread out over quite a few messages. I will try to give as much detail as I can from my once and only experience with this problem. Please note, this only happened to me once and I just wanted to describe what I saw, heard, and did.

Me: Tall, white, clean cut, ex mil, and an innocent look. I was polite to the trooper the whole time.

What I did: 88 in a 55 (on ramp) and he used radar.

Where: Mixing Bowl where 395S goes to 495 towards Reston, specifically Springfield, VA. I got a summons for Fairfax County Courthouse.

When: Just after Turkey day on a nice Saturday morning at 10am. Clear, sunny, no rain. I was sober.

Reckless Driving itself: You get one for doing more than 20 in the zone, even if you are "just speeding". You automatically get one for going over 80. You get 6 points for this one; it is on par with a DUI. You can also get one for driving like an a$$hole if you aren't speeding, weaving etc. Google “dmv virginia reckless driving” for the actual descriptions.

One immediate problem: Everyone in NoVa is doing 70 minimum so while you are really only 5 to 10 faster than everyone else you are already 20 over the limit. This isn't going to get you off the hook. :/

What I did: I called 2 lawyers. One cost 750 and the other cost 1k. Lawyers from the little research I did cost somewhere between 750 and 1200.

I went with the 750. She had me pull my driving record at the DMV, $8. We met and chatted about the case. She pretty much told me it was an open and shut case. She also told me to get a speedometer calibration. She then told me where to meet her before court.

The court process: The DA talks to cops and then talks to your lawyer. They make a deal. You can accept it and your case will take like 1 minute once it gets before the judge. Or you can say no and then go to trial. Do you feel lucky? You may get a punishment worse then what the DA offered and it is too late. You may get something better than what the DA offered. You then pay your fine and you are free. (If you don't get jail time, i don't know that part.)

Here are some FAQs:

Speedo calibration: The calibration can only be done at certain places so plan on looking. It cost $50 and took about 20 minute total. THIS WILL NOT GET YOU OFF THE HOOK! It pretty much is only going to be used to lessen the punishment.

Continuance: with an RD you need the officer there. Unlike a speeding ticket it will not be dropped if you keep delaying it. This is from the lawyer.

From what I saw in court: (1/2 day so don't jump all over me)

RD and you were in 70s: Don't worry about a lawyer if you have a good or great record. Don't bother with the speedo calibration, you won't get the ticket knocked down and you might be spending 50 to save like 25. I would bring your driving record. Your fine will be somewhere between $100 and $200. (Actually, I didn’t see anyone in the mid 70s with a lawyer. It might be worth your while to see what happens in this situation. My case was right up front so I didn’t see much afterwards.)

They were convicting people of RD in the 70s faster than you can get a Chalupa in Taco Hell. I am not exaggerating.

RD and you were 80s: Get a lawyer. You are facing a stiff fine, $500 for me, and a possible loss of license for anywhere from 30 to 90 days. Get the speedo calibration and the dmv record. You are trying to mitigate the punishment, not escape the charge. Possible restricted license.

RD and you were in the 90s: GET A LAWYER. In Fairfax you will probably go to jail for a bit and you will lose your license (restricted). Who knows what the fine will be but I am sure you are looking for 750 an up.

RD and you were 100+: Good luck. Get a lawyer and a toothbrush. You are definitely going to jail. You will be paying a monster fine and you will lose your license for months.

I saw about 10 RD cases prosecuted in about 30 minutes, along with a grab bag of stuff over the 2.5 hrs period I was there. And that included shuffling people around and the cops as well.

My end result: Lawyer, $750. Fine, $500. Speedo calibration, $50. DMV record, $8.

This is just my personal one time exp. If you don't like or don't believe me go to court well before your date. Locate the traffic court and sit in, it is open to all. There you will be able to see what people like you are getting for punishments. A lawyer is going to lessen your chance of something going haywire but in Fairfax it takes a minor miracle to avoid the RD once you get it. Doubt it? Go on down…

Before you flame remember, this was a one time exp in Fairfax Cty. YMMV in another county and definitely in another state. I am not a lawyer, judge, clerk, or cop. Just a normal person who went through this once and wanted to give some perspective.




'...RD and you were 100+: Good luck. Get a lawyer and a toothbrush...."



No flame from me!

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