Improper Driving is not something that will be written on a ticket. Instead it is a statutory creation found in Virginia Code section 46.2-869 that says “upon the trial of any person charged with reckless driving where the degree of culpability is slight, the court in its discretion may find the accused not guilty of reckless driving but guilty of improper driving.”
The penalty for improper driving is much less than the penalty for reckless driving. There are only 3 points assessed by the DMV, as opposed to 6 points for reckless driving. There is also a maximum fine of $500 instead of the max fine of $2500 for reckless driving and there is no jail or license suspension duration either. Of course the biggest difference is that improper driving is a traffic violation while reckless driving is a crime!
How do you get your charge reduced from ‘reckless driving’ to ‘improper driving’? It’s up to the judge. You need to convince the judge that you really should have your charge reduced because ….
The … after the because is where you would put in your arguments to try to convince the judge that you deserve the break. The judge can take a lot of things into consideration including whether you were cooperative with the officer, whether you have had multiple driving offenses in the past, whether you were speeding because you didn’t plan your trip correctly, or any other thing that the judge feels might make a difference. And yes, often your demeanor in court will have an impact on the judge’s decision too.
The judge will not always agree to a reduction in the charge to improper driving, but it is usually worth it to make that request and have an explanation ready to help the judge make the decision in favor of the reduction.
If you have any questions about this or any other legal subject, please feel free to give us a call at 757-234-4650 or visit our website at http://www.BeaversLaw.com.