Depending upon the speed and circumstances of your traffic ticket; our office may request that you complete driving school before your court date. Defensive driving courses can be used in a variety of ways to achieve favorable outcomes. In some cases it is advisable to compete the driving school before the court date while in other instances it is better to hold off and wait for the judge to make a ruling on the case.
12-Hour Vs. 8-Hour Driving School?
There are two different driving schools that are accepted by Virginia courts: an 8-hour defensive driving course and a 12-hour aggressive driving school. The 8-hour course is the typical course commonly offered online or in person. The 12-hour course includes the 8-hour portion, along with more in depth lessons on subjects such as speed and possible consequences of high speeds.
The aggressive driving course is offered online and in person (depending upon your area), but is usually more difficult to find and get into. Our office is aware of an online driving school based in Florida that is accepted in Virginia courts. It is important to ensure that the correct driving school is completed; as it is difficult to find just a 4-hour aggressive court to go along with defensive driving school (if done separately).
In those situations where it is borderline whether the Court will reduce the particular violation, we are more likely to request the completion of the elevated 12-hour reckless/aggressive driving school prior to the court date. We are often trying to persuade the judge to go further than they otherwise would, and the 12-hour driving school can be a valuable tool in that effort.
In some circumstances it is better to complete a defensive driving course prior to the court date. In these more borderline cases completing the driving school before the court date can help to persuade the judge to pursue more favorable outcomes.
In some situations it is sufficient to complete the typical 8-hour course. In more egregious cases, we may instead recommend completing the elevated 12-hour reckless/aggressive course. Moreover, there are situations where the court is likely to require driving school but we are uncertain which course is likely to be ordered.
If you do not complete driving school prior to the court date the judge will typically give you some time to get it completed after the original court date. Some judges use a 60 day window for you to complete the specific course assigned to you. Others will give you 90 days to get the course completed. So long as you are able to submit the original certificate of completion by the deadline set by the court, the judge should be willing to move forward with the agreed upon reduction or dismissal. Therefore, it is very important to ensure you are completing the correct course by the deadline set.
It is important that if you have been charged with a traffic violation in Virginia that you consult with an attorney who is familiar with the city or county where you received the ticket. Judges do very different things in various cities and counties throughout Virginia even in very similar cases. I frequently see individuals with less than ideal outcomes for their case when retaining inexperienced attorneys or choosing to represent themselves.
Mattox Law has extensive experience representing individuals charged with a wide variety of traffic violations including speeding and reckless driving. Our firm has represented thousands of clients facing traffic violations. Trey has successfully defended these cases providing results in nearly every instance that avoid a conviction for the traffic misdemeanor or infraction alleged. If you need help understanding a traffic stop, contact Mattox Law today.