Can I get a reckless driving charge reduced to another charge?

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Question:

Can I get a reckless driving charge reduced to another charge?

Answer:

In some instances, it may be possible to get a reckless driving charge reduced to a lesser offense. Most commonly, when this occurs, you may have the offense reduced to "improper driving." Reckless driving is generally considered to be more than just a traffic ticket or citation, like when you getting a speeding ticket. In many cases, reckless driving charges are criminal offenses, and they have serious sanctions to go with them. For example, in the state of Virginia, a reckless driving charge is considered to be a class 1 misdemeanor and can result in six points on your driver's license, fines up to $2,500 and even up to a year in jail. While each state's laws are different, the penalties you face where you live may be equally serious, so it is no wonder many people want to get these charges reduced. 

Your ability to reduce your reckless driving charge to a lesser charge (like improper driving) is going to depend on the prosecutor's discretion. The prosecutor can choose if he or she wants to make a deal with you or not. Some factors that may make a prosecutor more inclined to offer a deal are:

  • If you are a juvenile
  • If you have no prior offenses
  • If you truly seem remorseful and if the prosecutor does not believe you will commit the offense again
  • If the prosecutor's case and evidence against you is weak
  • The actions you were taking weren't extremely reckless or dangerous

On the other hand, if you have prior convictions, you were egregiously reckless or you caused harm (like an accident) the prosecutor may not be willing to let you reduce the charges. When you do arrange a deal for reduced charges, this deal is going to be in exchange for you pleading guilty. You need to admit what you did and take whatever punishment is agreed upon in the plea deal. 

If you do hope to arrange a plea, it is in your best interests to get a lawyer. Your attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf and maximize your chances of successfully getting the charges reduced.

References:

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