How much should I pay for a reckless driving attorney?
If you've received a reckless driving ticket in Virginia, you've likely received many letters from attorneys offering to represent you. Their prices likely range from $200 to over $2000. Before you spend that kind of money, you should be sure you're not wasting your money. High price does not always mean better attorney. There are a lot of reasons some attorney charge more than other attorneys. Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding on a reckless driving attorney:
A conviction for reckless driving is probably not going to ruin your life.
Being charged with reckless driving is scary because it's a criminal offense. That means it will be on your record forever. You might start to imagine all the horrible things that will happen to you as a result of a criminal conviction. However, it's important to remember that a reckless driving conviction if a criminal traffic offense. It is true that reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor, but almost no one will treat a reckless driving conviction the same as a DUI or petit larceny conviction.
Many attorneys will emphasize the potential negative consequences of a reckless driving conviction, but you should not let unrealistic concerns effect how much you pay for an attorney.
You should find out how much you would pay in fines and costs if you were convicted as charged.
If you're charged with reckless driving by speed 89/70 in Albemarle County, you will probably have to pay around $200 in court costs and fines. But in Augusta County you might be looking at closer to $400 in court costs and fines. The higher the speed, the more in court costs and fines.
You should find out how many cases the attorney has handled in that particular court.
It's nice to have an attorney who has handled thousands of reckless driving cases across the state, but you want to make sure that your attorney has handled cases with the judge who will be handling your case. Ask the attorney how many cases they've handled with your judge.
There is only so much that a reckless driving attorney can do for you.
In some cases, it will not make much of a difference which attorney you hire. Many courts have strict policies about reckless driving tickets and it won't matter whether you paid your attorney $200 or $2000; the result will probably be the same. As a general rule, the faster your ticket the more you should expect to pay for an attorney. That means if your ticket is for 83 in a 70 mile per hour zone, you should not pay $2000 for an attorney. If your ticket is 100 in a 70 mile per hour zone, you might consider paying $2000 for an attorney.