What happens when you go to court for reckless driving?

I was charged with reckless driving about a week ago. I’ve never been charged with anything more than a speeding ticket, so I’m not sure what to do next. Can you get a reckless driving charge dismissed in court?

Eric Schad · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Although every state has different laws regarding reckless driving, the legal process is very similar. The process will depend on the severity of your charge, but you should expect the following.
  • You may need to appear before the judge during your arraignment. However, if you
    hire a lawyer
    to defend you, you may not. Make sure to move quickly in hiring a lawyer to give them enough time to file the proper paperwork.
  • Whether or not you appear at the arraignment, you will be given a plea option of guilty or not guilty. Unless advised by an attorney, you should always plead not guilty.
  • In more serious cases, you may have to post bond to avoid going to jail until your court date.
Pre-trial hearings
  • Following your arraignment, you will have pre-trial hearings while your case is pending.
  • During pre-trial hearings, your attorney may negotiate a plea deal. This is the most likely scenario.
  • If you don’t reach a pre-trial agreement, the case will proceed to a trial.
Trial or court
  • If your case isn’t settled, which is often the case in a felony reckless driving charge, you have to appear in court for your trial.
  • You have the choice of a trial by jury or trial by judge.
  • The jury or bench will decide whether there’s enough evidence to convict you or whether the case is dismissed.
  • If you’re found guilty, you’ll have to appear in court again for your sentencing. You have the right to speak at your sentencing to appeal for leniency, but you must accept the final ruling of the judge.
Because of all the legal ramifications of a court case, hiring a traffic attorney is highly advisable.
Regardless of whether you’re found guilty of reckless driving or a lesser charge, you may face a license suspension or demerit points. As a result, your car insurance rates are likely to rise. But don’t simply pay the higher rates. Instead, hop on the
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