Reckless Driving – Do You Have to Appear in Court?

published by Andrew Flusche on June 19, 2012

One of the most confusing aspects of reckless driving tickets is whether or not you have to appear in court. The ticket itself throws people off, because this appears underneath your signature:

What the heck does that mean? You’re supposed to appear, right?

Yes and no.

Usually the officer will scribble through the text that says “You may avoid coming to court…” I guess that’s to prevent people from checking the box and claiming they don’t have to appear.

But what’s the rule? Do you have to appear or not?

By default, reckless driving tickets require your appearance in court. The box won’t normally be checked on your ticket. Your signature on the ticket is your promise to appear.

However, if you hire an attorney, an attorney can appear on your behalf for many reckless driving cases. That rule will differ based on the local court and the precise charge you’re facing.

For example, in most cases where you’re charged with less than 100 mph, I can handle the case without you in the Fredericksburg area courts. But in Northern Virginia, you may have to appear in court for any speed above 90 mph.

It’s an easy enough default rule: appear in court. To see if you can avoid coming to court, call a local traffic attorney.

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