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Old 12-08-2012, 12:32 AM
 
2 posts, read 11,027 times
Reputation: 11

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Hi Everyone,

First of all, thanks for checking out my question post.

Background
Tonight, I got pulled over by a Fairfax Police Officer for going 56 mph in a 35 mph (technically reckless driving). However, based on my driving record and considering the fact that I was from Richmond, VA (unfamiliar with the area and the roads), the Officer decided to give me a ticket for violation of 46.2-878 and "Speeding 56/35". The Officer informed me that he will be recording this ticket as a regular speeding ticket, and not a 'reckless driving' ticket and that should I 'plead guilty' I can prepay the fine online without showing to court.

Here is my question. (2 questions)
(1) If I plead guilty and prepay the fine, would the DMV properly display my driving record as a 'speeding' violation or a 'reckless driving' violation?

I am under the impression it will be displayed as a 'speeding' violation as the officer told me I will be written up for 'speeding' but I am worried DMV may record this as a 'reckless driving' situation simply because it 20mph+ the speed limit.

(2) What are the chances of the Fairfax County court asking me to complete a driver's ed course and dismiss this case? I have no previous traffic violations and my current driving record is a +5.
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:05 AM
 
1,180 posts, read 1,810,565 times
Reputation: 979
If you go to court with a +5 the ticket will be reduced to something like 50/35 or similar that removes the reckless. It will be tough to get traffic school since you were doing 20 over. If the office wanted to be sure you wouldn't get a reckless he would have written you up for 54/35 instead....I'm not sure that 56/35 with the officer's word it won't be a reckless will keep it from being recorded as a reckless should you mail it in.

I'd go to court on this one to see how far you can get it reduced...with a +5 you cannot do worse than you are now.

<preachy rhetoric about how you shouldn't drive so fast and deserve to lose your license>
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:19 AM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
6,544 posts, read 10,813,918 times
Reputation: 5544
DMV will only what's recorded on the ticket. In this case a speeding charge. They will not change it to a reckless driving. DMV's job is to record a conviction and in this case a speeding charge.
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:50 AM
 
27 posts, read 99,035 times
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If it was written under 46.2-878 it will NOT be recorded as reckless driving on your transcript, regardless of your speed. It was written as a speeding charge under 46.2-878 and that is precisely how it will be recorded by DMV. You could be going 110 MPH and if the officer wrote it as a speeding charge that's how it will proceed and be recorded on your record. They will not upgrade the charge once it has been placed.

If the words "Reckless Driving" and 46.2-862 are not written on the summons, it is not prosecuted as reckless speeding under that section, which is the section of state code pertaining to speeding 20+ over the limit.

Also, Fairfax County General District Court does NOT dismiss cases in lieu of traffic school. You also will not be sent to traffic school by Fairfax County GDC, period. They do not participate in that nor do they have the staffing to monitor a program like that in a court system the size of Fairfax.

You can, however, take traffic school voluntarily once every two years as a Virginia licensed driver. It may help to mitigate the speeding charge after it's been posted on your record.

Honestly, the officer did give you a break by not citing you with reckless driving.

Good luck.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:48 AM
 
1,180 posts, read 1,810,565 times
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That's interesting and thanks for the clarification. You see posts from people about how an officer writes them up for a 78/55 reckless, but then tells them if they go to court the reckless will be dropped. If they don't need to charge or have the power to not charge the reckless why even do it in the first place? Obviously there are instances where the officer wants to write it up as a reckless, but from posts in the reckless thread it seems like sometimes they act like their hand is forced.

Does the officer just not know they can do this or it a departmental protocol type thing (ie anything 20 over has to be written up as a reckless)?
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:55 PM
 
27 posts, read 99,035 times
Reputation: 34
The officers are fully aware, I promise you. However, their respective agencies may not give them much discretion. For instance, VSP troopers usually will charge reckless driving at speeds 20+ over the limit at the recommendation of their agency. County, city and local officers may have more leeway and cite it as mere speeding, as was the case here.

Some "borderline" reckless driving cases can be dropped in court to "Improper Driving" under 46.2-869. Virginia law enforcement officers cannot make that charge outright. It can only be amended in court by a judge or prosecutor. Sometimes though the trooper or officer will make a recommendation that it be amended to improper driving since it's not a charge they can make on their own.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:09 AM
 
2 posts, read 11,027 times
Reputation: 11
So I guess I should just prepay the fine and move on with my life? I'm getting the vibe that its not even really worth for me to go to court (unless the judge 'reduces' the speed so maybe my insurance won't go up so much)..
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
6,544 posts, read 10,813,918 times
Reputation: 5544
Quote:
Originally Posted by scareddriver View Post
So I guess I should just prepay the fine and move on with my life? I'm getting the vibe that its not even really worth for me to go to court (unless the judge 'reduces' the speed so maybe my insurance won't go up so much)..

If you have a good record you may not even see a rate increase in your insurance.
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:32 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,725 times
Reputation: 10
Default I just want to know if this scenario would be any points on the driving record for DMV

I just want to know if this scenario would be any points on the driving record for DMV? Is it worth going to court or just prepay?










Quote:
Originally Posted by MessageBoardName View Post
If it was written under 46.2-878 it will NOT be recorded as reckless driving on your transcript, regardless of your speed. It was written as a speeding charge under 46.2-878 and that is precisely how it will be recorded by DMV. You could be going 110 MPH and if the officer wrote it as a speeding charge that's how it will proceed and be recorded on your record. They will not upgrade the charge once it has been placed.

If the words "Reckless Driving" and 46.2-862 are not written on the summons, it is not prosecuted as reckless speeding under that section, which is the section of state code pertaining to speeding 20+ over the limit.

Also, Fairfax County General District Court does NOT dismiss cases in lieu of traffic school. You also will not be sent to traffic school by Fairfax County GDC, period. They do not participate in that nor do they have the staffing to monitor a program like that in a court system the size of Fairfax.

You can, however, take traffic school voluntarily once every two years as a Virginia licensed driver. It may help to mitigate the speeding charge after it's been posted on your record.

Honestly, the officer did give you a break by not citing you with reckless driving.

Good luck.
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Old 04-19-2017, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
5,057 posts, read 5,317,301 times
Reputation: 12483
Quote:
Originally Posted by srsweetypie View Post
I just want to know if this scenario would be any points on the driving record for DMV? Is it worth going to court or just prepay?
Virginia DMV Point System & Penalties | DMV.org
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