Reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor that is punishable by a $2,500 fine, a 6-month loss of license, 12 months in jail making it a serious offense that can impact your criminal record and have far-reaching consequences for your future. With that said, each jurisdiction in Virginia treats reckless driving differently, as some allow you to have your charges reduced to less serious infractions if you attend a driving school.
Below, an Arlington reckless driving lawyer discusses the potential impact of taking a driving class in your case. To see if a driving school could impact your case, call and schedule a consultation today.
In Arlington, there is a driving school that the court ultimately uses. It is run by a man named Art Von Herbulis, and completion of that school is looked favorably upon by the court—more so than any online school or another driving school.
The class consists of three 2-hour sessions that you actually have to attend in person in subsequent weeks. Completion of the program can be used to give you a reduction in your level of speed or to reduce a reckless driving to a speeding offense, but there’s no guarantee that will happen.
It doesn’t give you positive points on your driving record. You need to talk to the prosecutor or get the recommendation from the judge to determine what effect completion of the course will have on your case.
These classes cost $200 and that’s in addition to any fees, fines, and costs you have to pay for the court, so the class is somewhat expensive. You have to pay $200 out of pocket just to go to the class. You still could be sentenced up to $250 for a traffic infraction or $2,500 on a reckless driving conviction.
As you physically have to appear in class on three 2-hour sessions, there is also the cost of time. That also involves driving to and from the class and going to the class, which can be time-consuming. So, there are costs involved to take Mr. Von Herbulis’ class in Arlington County, but the benefits often outweigh the costs.
It depends on the case. But typically, the driving class will give you some kind of reduction from the judge or from the prosecutor. It can be used to mitigate the punishment or to reduce the charge to a less serious offense. For example, sometimes completion of the class will lead to the reduction of the crime of reckless driving to a speeding infraction.
Taking these classes may even help lead to dismissal if the prosecutor agrees or if the judge agrees. So, it definitely can be a mitigating factor. It shows that you’re taking the situation seriously. The court does factor it in when calculating the appropriate sentence or appropriate charge in any kind of traffic case.
Arlington will give you some permission to take classes out of state if you live out of state, but it will not help as much as going to Mr. Von Herbulis’ class. They have determined that that’s the best class for their jurisdiction and that’s the one that they care about. So, if you live out of state, it doesn’t hurt to go to a driving school but expect that in Arlington the impact will be less than if you complete the in-person driving school that is offered by Art Von Herbulis.