Should I Take An 8-Hour or 12-Hour Defensive Driving Course?

Defensive driving courses are often one of the more important tools or pieces of mitigation evidence we can use for traffic cases.  Defensive driving courses can be used in a variety of different 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.

In those situations where it is borderline whether the Court will reduce the particular violation, I am more likely to request my client complete 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. 

Many judges will require some sort of driving school prior to being willing to reduce the violation.  In some cases we may know it will be either the 8 or the 12 hour course that is required, and it is up to the client whether to complete before the court date or the prescribed period thereafter prior to a set due date.  In other cases, we won’t know if the judge will require an 8-hour or a 12-hour course.  Under that scenario, I typically advise my clients to hold off and wait so they are not doing a 12-hour course when all that is required is the 8-hour course.

It is vitally 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 in very similar cases.  I frequently see individuals get results is less than ideal by appearing with an attorney unfamiliar with the jurisdiction or appearing in court without counsel.  Please feel free to contact me today to discuss your case by email or phone (804) 451-6033.