Arlington Attorney Explains Reckless Driving Defenses

June 24, 2016by Chris Lovos

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Were you recently charged with reckless driving in Arlington County, Virginia?  If so, there are a few things you need to know right off that bat so that you can properly prepare yourself and begin the process of seeking legal representation.

First, reckless driving is not a simple traffic infraction.  Reckless driving is a misdemeanor in Virginia, meaning that it is treated as a criminal offense throughout the Commonwealth.  In Arlington, in particular, however, the penalties for reckless driving can be substantially worse than they are in other jurisdictions.

One of the first things you’ll learn if you go to Arlington General District Court by yourself is that the prosecutors will rarely work with you to reduce your charge without having a defense attorney present.  They’ll often tell you to simply take your case to the judge.  That’s not the way that our legal system is supposed to work, and you shouldn’t be forced to retain legal counsel simply to open up negotiations with prosecutors, but unfortunately that is exactly what happens in Arlington County.

So, let’s say the prosecutor won’t work with you and the judge doesn’t put any stock into your story, what are you looking at as punishment for reckless driving in Arlington.

reckless driving

First Offense Reckless Driving in Arlington County:

The maximum penalties for a first offense reckless driving are:

  • 12 months jail
  • Up to $2,500 fine
  • 6 months suspension of driver’s license
  • 6 DMV demerit points

But the maximum penalties are very rarely imposed.  Instead, you’re probably looking at:

  • Possible 30 days suspended jail time
  • $200 fine
  • 6 months suspension of driver’s license
  • 6 DMV demerit points

Even those these penalties are substantial less than the maximum penalties that can be imposed for a first offense reckless driving conviction, there are severe nonetheless.  This is where having an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side comes in handy!

The VERY first thing that I have all my Arlington County reckless driving clients do is sign up for a specific driving improvement program.  There are dozens of DMV recognized driving improvement courses in Virginia, but the Arlington courts specifically rely on one specific driving improvement course:

Lifestyles Learning/Driver Behavior Management Program – 6 hour

Director: Art Von Herbulis

2100 Washington Boulevard

Arlington, VA 22204

Arlington Department of Human Services

Phone: (703) 297-2688


Once you complete that course and receive your completion certificate, I can begin negotiating on your behalf to potentially get the charge dismissed entirely, or at least reduced to a speeding charge or another traffic infraction that does not result in a criminal conviction or 6 DMV demerit points.

Getting in front of a reckless driving charge is critical.  If you have been charged with reckless driving in Arlington, reach out to Justin Ervin at Ervin Kibria PLLC today to discuss representation in your case!

Call me at (703) 962-7790


Chris Lovos