A conviction for reckless driving can significantly disrupt a person's life. Penalties range from fines and points on a driver's license to jail time. Likewise, insurers almost always raise rates on motorists with convictions.
How you respond to the charges is important. Attorneys often tell drivers to do these four things.
Collect and Copy
One of the most important things to do initially is to collect all of the paperwork from the police or the court. Make copies of everything so you can present them to a lawyer. Preserve all of the documents because you may need them to respond to directions from the court.
Similarly, make copies of any supporting evidence you might have. If you have dash camera footage that shows you were driving safely, back the video up to the cloud. Your phone's GPS data could also support your argument.
Regardless of how good of a case you believe you have, it's prudent to go to court with an attorney. Talk to lawyers in your area who handle reckless driving cases. Tell them the details surrounding the charges. Even if you believe that a particular fact might reflect poorly upon you, share it with counsel so they can provide the fullest advice possible.
Consider the Plea Options
A lot depends on how severe the claims of reckless driving are. Relatively light charges may only carry fines, public service, and driving school requirements. Someone in this situation might consider pleading guilty and asking the court to take the acknowledgement of reckless driving into account. Particularly if you don't have a lot of evidence to counter the police's claims, this may be the best option.
Conversely, someone with strong evidence to support their case might elect to plead not guilty. Their counsel can present the evidence and ask the court to consider the proof that their driving wasn't reckless. You may also be able to assert that there was an expedient reason for driving the way you did, such as trying to get someone who needed care to the hospital as quickly as possible.
Respond to Court Inquiries
Whenever the court sends you anything or issues an order, respond to them as quickly as possible. If you get a letter in the mail ordering you to appear for a hearing, for example, contact your lawyer right away to discuss how to reply. Letting things go could result in a default judgment against you or even additional charges for failing to appear.
When you are faced with a serious legal matter, it only makes sense to work with an attorney who has the skillset to help. Attorneys are specially trained to manage everything from courtroom appearances to issues with paperwork, which is why you should have one on hand for when you are faced with an emergency. The purpose of this blog is to make it easier to understand when you should call a lawyer and how they can help. Read more on this blog to sort out everything you need to know to improve your legal prowess every single day, preventing problems.