A Charge of Reckless Driving for Passing a School Bus Can Often Be Pleaded Down

If you're not familiar with Virginia traffic law, you may understandably be terrified by the potential consequences of getting caught passing a school bus. If a police officer catches you in the act, he has little recourse other than to issue you a citation for reckless driving. This is the same statute that applies to other, more serious violations like speeding and disregarding traffic signals. If you ask, the arresting officer will probably be glad to tell you what you're in for: a $2,500 fine, a year in jail, and/or the suspension or revocation of your license.

It's extremely rare, however, for a first-time offender who passes a school bus to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The fact is that district attorneys in the state of Virginia have the leeway to reduce this charge to one of “improper driving,” which carries much less onerous, but still substantial, penalties, including a $500 fine and three points added to your driving record. Of course, if you zoom past a school bus at 80 MPH, nearly knocking over a grade-schooler, the authorities are much less likely to reduce the charges, and you may have the book thrown at you by an angry judge or jury.

Whatever the nature of your reckless driving offense, it's a serious mistake to go into court without legal representation. The lawyers at Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman have decades of experience with Virginia's traffic laws, and will work to secure the best possible outcome to your case

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