Southampton County Virginia Reckless Driving Speeding Traffic Ticket Attorney

 Southampton, Virginia Mattox Law traffic attorney

Located just north of the North Carolina border with Virginia, the majority of traffic violations in Southampton occur on US Routes 460, 35, and 58.  Throughout Southampton the speed limit reduces as you pass through the small towns such as Boykins, Capron, Courtland, Branchville, Ivor, and Newsoms.  Often you will find an officer just on the other side of the lesser speed limit sign waiting for drivers who are not paying attention.

DUI Representation

A conviction for a DUI in Virginia is a severe offense that carries harsh consequences and even jail time. As a class 1 misdemeanor, a DUI conviction carries a maximum 12 month license suspension, fine of $2,500, and a 12 month jail sentence. Upon conviction of an elevated DUI, the judge has mandatory minimum sentences that must be enforced. DUI’s vary case by case as there are so many things that go into consideration such as the defendant's blood alcohol content and any previous convictions. Often there are arguable situations in a DUI case that can be used for leverage in a plea deal if not dismissal. In order to get the best possible result for your case, it is important to hire an attorney who is willing to take the time to review every detail to bring light to any possible defense and be there for you during the complicated aftermath.

What is Reckless Driving?

There are many varieties of Reckless Driving in Virginia, but the most prevalent is Virginia Code § 46.2-862. Exceeding speed limit.  This statute defines reckless driving as:

A person shall be guilty of Reckless Driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.

Classification and Penalties

Virginia Code § 46.2-868 dictates that reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor and therefore carries extremely serious consequences.  In Virginia, a Class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious category of misdemeanors and falls just one step short of a felony.  Specifically, as a Class 1 misdemeanor, reckless driving carries a maximum one year in jail, $2500 fine, and 6 month license suspension.  Additionally,  there are many secondary consequences such as points on your driving record, license suspensions due to accumulation of points, increased insurance premiums, and failed criminal background checks.

The Reckless Driving Statutes

There are 14 different variations of reckless driving in Virginia.  The following is a list of the various reckless driving statutes:

·      § 46.2-852 Reckless driving; general rule

·      § 46.2-853 Driving vehicle which is not under control; faulty brakes.

·      § 46.2-854. Passing on or at the crest of a grade or on a curve.

·      § 46.2-855. Driving with driver's view obstructed or control impaired.

·      § 46.2-856. Passing two vehicles abreast.

·      § 46.2-857. Driving two abreast in a single lane.

·      § 46.2-858. Passing at a railroad grade crossing.

·      § 46.2-859. Passing a stopped school bus; prima facie evidence.

·      § 46.2-860. Failing to give proper signals.

·      § 46.2-861. Driving too fast for highway and traffic conditions.

·      § 46.2-862. Exceeding speed limit.

·      § 46.2-863. Failure to yield right-of-way.

·      § 46.2-864. Reckless driving on parking lots, etc.

·      § 46.2-865. Racing; penalty.

Defending Reckless Driving and Speeding Cases

Virginia is among the stricter states regarding traffic enforcement of speeding. Often drives are shocked when they receive a Reckless Driving ticket for speeding. In Virginia, simply driving over 80 mph will land you a severe charge of reckless driving. This raises a routine speeding infraction to a class 1 misdemeanor.  If you are convicted of reckless driving you may be facing increased insurance rates, high fines, points on your driving record, and a license suspension. Not only that, a conviction of Reckless Driving put a Class 1 misdemeanor on your criminal record for 11 years. Reckless driving is not something that should be taken lightly and never prepaid.

Trey Mattox has represented countless clients charged with Reckless Driving and Speeding has a history of having charges reduced or dismissed, saving clients hundreds of dollars in fines and insurance premiums, and preserving their driving privileges. He has become very familiar with Virginia speeding laws and knows what is required of officers making certain all possible legal strategies are pursued. 

Expected Outcomes

Each traffic case is unique and carries individual issues leading to a variety of results. The biggest factor effecting the outcome of a case of course is the original allegation. Certainly, we expect far different outcomes for DUI’s offenses as compared to speeding offenses. However, there are many other factors involved with every traffic case. One of the most important factors the court will take into consideration is your demeanor. The judge will be far more lenient to an individual who is polite and cooperative with the officer as opposed to someone who was argumentative or otherwise uncooperative. Another major factor is the number of prior violations on your record. Most judges and prosecutors will not provide a favorable outcome with out viewing your record first. A clean record will allow for much better outcomes than one with multiple violations.

Driving School for Dismissal

Driving school is a very powerful tool in the defense of traffic infractions and crimes. In many cases I will advise my clients to complete driving school before the court date in order to achieve a better outcome. In other case, the judge may require the defendant to complete driving school in order to have the case completely dismissed. Under those circumstances it is up to the defendant to get the driving school completed by the deadline set by the court in order to have the case dismissed.

Southampton General District Court

The judge in Southampton is very strict in what he likes to do in certain situations and what he will and will not accept as evidence in a case. Failure to properly follow his requirements often results in a conviction. It is very important to hire an attorney familiar with this judge to get you the best possible outcome for your case. Below please find links to blog articles describing some of the mitigation evidence I use to defend my clients. Please send me a call at (804)-451-6033 or email at for additional suggestions on mitigation evidence for your Southampton traffic case.

  • Community Service - Community service can be a powerful piece of mitigation evidence 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, I will advise my clients to complete community service hours proactively in order to present the best case possible. Judges have differing standards when it comes to community services. Most if not all judges will be satisfied with your community service hours if completed according to the following guidelines. First, the community service must be completed for a non-profit organization. However, many judges adhere to strict prohibitions against doing community services for any school, church, or any other organization you are currently associated with. The second requirement for community services work deals with the reporting of the work.  Many of the judges that I appear before regularly are extremely picky about how the community service should be documented and presented to the court.  Ultimately, you will want to have the supervisor write a letter on a piece of the organizations 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 in front of a notary.

  • Speedometer Calibration - Speedometer calibrations are often the single most important piece of evidence I present while defending reckless driving cases. It is extremely important to have your vehicle properly calibrated in order to ensure that it is admissible in court and can be as beneficial as possible to the outcome of your case. It is essential to select the right shop with the correct equipment. You will want to take your vehicle to a shop with a dynamometer or “dyno.” In essence a dynamometer is a devise used to test the accuracy of your vehicles speedometer, among other functions. The technician will put your vehicle on the dynamometer and measure what your speedometer is reading as compared to the actual wheel speed of your vehicle in order to determine how accurate your speedometer is. 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 that you may have been traveling at that alleged speed.  Many of the judges that I appear before regularly give my clients credit for the calibration and will reduce a charge down further than he or she may have otherwise been willing to do. A true calibration will carry the greatest weight in court.  Many of my clients will take their vehicles to a shop without a dynamometer before they have spoken to me.  Frequently these shops will inform my clients that their speed sensor or speedometer cluster is malfunctioning and offer to replace them.  While this can be helpful to a reckless driving case it does not usually carry the same amount of weight as a true calibration.

  • Driving School - Completion of a defensive driving course can be very valuable to the defense of a reckless driving charge. Often completing the course prior to your scheduled court date can be a useful tool to get the best possible outcome for your case. You must also be careful you choose the correct driving school for your individual case. Driving courses can range in length from six hours up to twelve hours. You must also be sure that driving school is the correct tool for your case. For high-speed cases I often get my clients to complete a 12-hour aggressive driving course.  The length and subject matter of these courses can show that a client is very concerned about their case and willing to do what it takes to avoid a conviction.  There are two primary sources I use for 12-hour courses.  The first is offered through the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) and is called Reckless/Aggressive Driver Education Program (RADEP).  This is a two-day, in person aggressive driving school.  The other primary source is one of the many 12 hour courses offered online out of Florida.  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. Some judges refuse to order defendants to take driving school, some will only use driving school for exceptional cases, and others rely solely on driving school as a means of reducing reckless driving charges. 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. It is important 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.

If you have been pulled over in Southampton please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.  I offer free consultation and am available by phone (804) 451-6033 or email

Southampton General and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Combined Courts
5th Judicial District of Virginia

Ms Belinda J. Jones

Phone: (757) 653-2673
Fax: (757) 653-2656

Clerk's Office Hours
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

P. O. Box 347
22350 Main Street
Courtland, VA 23837-0347

General District Judges

  • Hon. W. Parker Councill, Presiding Judge

  • Hon. Alfred W. Bates III, Chief Judge

  • Hon. James A. Moore

Case Results

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