Reckless Driving – Do You Have to Appear in Court?

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.

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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