From the outset, Trey Mattox will always look for a defense that will lead to a complete dismissal of the case. When unable to secure a dismissal, there are certain tools to ensure we obtain the best possible outcome. Some of the more frequently used tools are listed below:
A speedometer calibration is one of the preferred tools used to defend reckless driving cases. To ensure admissibility, it is extremely important to have your vehicle properly calibrated.
Selecting The Right Shop
It is essential to select the right shop to perform your speedometer calibration. Choosing a shop with a dynamometer or “dyno” is the preferred method for testing speedometer accuracy. A dynamometer is a device used to test the accuracy of your vehicle’s speedometer. Initially, the technician will put your vehicle on the dynamometer. He will then compare your speedometer to the true wheel speed in order to determine speedometer accuracy. Frequently, a shop will indicate a speed sensor or speedometer cluster is malfunctioning and offer to replace them. This can be helpful to a reckless driving case. However, it does not carry the same amount of effectiveness in defense as the weight of a true calibration.
The Value of a True Calibration
A true calibration will carry the greatest weight in defending you in court. A favorable calibration will demonstrate to the judge that your speedometer was reading lower than your actual speed. This will help to show that you were unaware you may have been traveling at that alleged speed. Most judges will give our clients credit for a properly obtained calibration. A favorable calibration can lead to a reduction or even dismissal of the alleged charge. That being said, some judges are better about giving credit for calibrations than others. Thus, it is important speak with an attorney who is familiar with the judge handling your case.
Completing a defensive driving course is another of the valuable tools in defending a traffic violation. To obtain the best possible outcome for your case taking the course prior to your scheduled court date may be required. Choosing the correct driving school for your individual case is imperative.
There are two things needed to make your decision regarding the correct driving school: time and relevancy to your charge. Selecting the driving school that fits the needs of your case is also important.
Driving courses can range in length from six hours up to twelve hours. For high-speed cases, we recommend completing a 12-hour aggressive driving course. The length and subject matter of these courses can show that a client is appropriately concerned about their case. This will also show a willingness to do what it takes to avoid a conviction. Two primary sources I use for 12-hour courses:
- (VASAP) – Reckless/Aggressive Driver Education Program (RADEP): This is a two-day, in person aggressive driving school.
- 12 Hour Online Courses: The state of Florida uses 12-hour driving schools with great frequencies and has many online programs available.
Judges can differ significantly when it comes to the value they will place on driving school. In Virginia, DMV will add five positive points to your driving record if you complete driving school voluntarily and submit the certificate of completion to the DMV. When signing up to take a defensive driving course you should be given the option of court ordered and voluntary for points on your record. Be sure to take the court ordered course when completing it prior to your court date to ensure the judge gives you proper credit for completing it.
Completing community service can be a powerful tool used to help get the best possible result in court. In some cases, a judge will order the defendant to complete community service as a requirement for a reduction of the charged offense. On other occasions, we ask our clients to complete community service hours proactively in order to present the best case possible.
Tools To Secure Community Services Opportunities
Judges have different standards when it comes to community services. For the best chances of a positive outcome, complete your community service hours according to the following guidelines:
The community service must be completed for a non-profit organization. (NOTE: many judges adhere to strict prohibitions against doing community services for any school, church, or any other organization you are currently associated with.)
Reporting community service should be documented and presented to the court. Have the supervisor write a letter on a piece of the organization’s letterhead describing the dates and hours you worked, a description of the work, and the total number of hours worked. Some judges even require this letter to be signed by the supervisor and notarized.