The answer to this question depends a lot upon the local judge that you’re going to be appearing in front of for your traffic ticket. Around the Fredericksburg area we have several different judges who are all in the same judicial circuit. But they do have varied policies about driving school, and in particular, whether or not they like people to do driving school before coming to court.

The problem is that the cases vary so much based on the judge that it’s an impossible question to answer in the abstract. There’s no one answer that would apply to every Virginia traffic case. If you’re facing a case in Spotsylvania County with our usual judge there, I would advise that it doesn’t hurt to go to driving school ahead of time. And the same could be said about one of the usual judges in Stafford County. However, the other judge in Stafford County sometimes does not like you going to driving school ahead of time and doing that could actually hurt your case. I’ve seen attorneys come before that judge and show the judge that their client has done driving school, and it actually hinders the judge from giving them as good of a result as he might have otherwise if the client had not done driving school ahead of time.

This is just one subtle example of why it’s critical to at least talk with a local attorney who appears regularly in front of the judge that you’ll be in front of, handling the kind of case that you have because of something as simple as driving school. It seems like a no-brainer to do driving school to help your case before court, but unfortunately with some judges, it can actually hurt your case. Your best option is to find out what the rule would be with the judge you’re going to be in front of.

photo credit: Hugo Chinaglia

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