5 Useless Defenses to a Fairfax County Reckless Driving Charge

[kc_heading_pac_18_headline_2 size=”20″ color=”#000000″ ]These five common-sense arguments will almost always flop if used to defend a Fairfax County reckless driving or speeding charge. [/kc_heading_pac_18_headline_2]

[pulsehover_text preset_name=”Post Images Follow Buttons 1″]Yes, they will almost always flop in court.  Maybe even worse than an NBA player, on a court.  The difference is, the players stand a better chance at getting away with their flop of an argument.  (Non-basketball fans: players “flop” in an attempt to fool referees).[/pulsehover_text]

Jokes aside, common sense and logic would prevail in a perfect world: police officers would be mind-readers, capable of determining whether one of these common-sense excuses uttered by drivers pulled for recklessly driving actually was justifiable under the circumstances.  But the world is not perfect, and in reality, reckless driving laws exist to maintain a level of safety…let’s face it, cars are like little missiles, and people all around you are sitting on top of a little missile with the ability to kill you.  So, even as a criminal defense lawyer, I have to admit that I am a fan of reckless driving laws, generally speaking.  But I am also a fan of helping people defend their charge (mainly because the consequences are very, very stiff in Virginia), and while this is not legal advice, perhaps this casual post will help someone avoid shooting their foot in court.  Maybe someone reading this is facing jail-time for their reckless charge, but makes barely enough money to not be entitled to a court-appointed lawyer.  It is also possible that the prosecution is not seeking jail time, in which case you would not be entitled to a court-appointed lawyer no matter your financial situation.  That does not change the fact that you could still be looking at a $2,500 fine and the loss of your driving privileges for six months.  If you can afford a lawyer to defend your reckless charge, I suggest you find one in Fairfax.  I have never witnessed one of these five “defenses” work, for what that may be worth.

If any of these arguments – even if true – routinely enabled charged drivers to get out of a speeding ticket or Fairfax County reckless driving charge, then the police would not be able to do their jobs keeping roads safe.  Remember, they cannot read minds.  While I am not a police officer by any means, if you get pulled over, then you are free to tell the officer why you were speeding if you wish…but consider what you would actually be doing by making any one of the five excuses to the officer: essentially admitting that you were speeding. 

But since I am not a cop, I cannot tell you how one would react to any of the following statements. I can tell you this though: that these will almost always fail if used as a defense in court against a Fairfax County reckless driving charge.  An experienced, trusted Fairfax traffic lawyer would virtually never use any of the following for your defense:

“I had to use the restroom. Really!”

I cannot tell you the number of times that a friend or family member has said to me, “if I get pulled over for speeding, I’ll just say that I had to use the bathroom!” Often, these words are accompanied by a smug look of genius.  The worst idea ever, from recent memory, comes from an old college acquaintance:

“I’ll just pour some water on my pants, you know, to “prove” to the officer I really did have to go.”

[pulsehover_text preset_name=”Post Images Follow Buttons 1″]Fairfax County Reckless Driving[/pulsehover_text]I don’t think it needs to be said, but I will say it anyway: DON’T DO THIS.

It won’t work.

And your pants will be wet.

AND you might pick up another charge for telling a blatant lie to a police officer.

“I was merely going with the flow of traffic.”

I can understand why a driver might consider telling an officer this, if true: I recall my driving instructor as a youngster (years ago) saying, “Go with the flow of traffic…it’s safer.” Whether or not it is safer does not matter.  The law is the law, and if you break it, then the police can charge or arrest you.  In Fairfax County, do not count on it working as a defense.  And again, while I am not a police officer, I can imagine how it could make the officer feel as if he or she is being accused of singling you out or of profiling you. 

If an officer does decide to let you go, then that is great.  But if the officer is not hearing it (because he or she has probably heard it used as an excuse dozens of times before), it will most likely not be a viable defense in court to defend a Fairfax County reckless driving charge, either.  Think about it: you would be making the argument that the flow of traffic was at a steady, reckless speed (generally speaking, 20 mph over).  Most people do not drive that fast, all at once.  Sometimes it happens on the highways, but chances are slim to none an officer or a judge will take pity on you for going with the “flow” at such a high speed.

“I am running late to an interview/class/job.”

It may be true, but officers hear this a lot, too.  It will almost never work as a defense in court.

“The speed limit goes back and forth!”

Like all of the others before it, this one will likely fail as a defense to a Fairfax County reckless driving charge.  If a speed limit sign has been moved by a vandal, however, that could be a different story.

“The officer spelled my name wrong and labeled me as the wrong race on the summons.”

Even if an officer’s error on the summons offends you, unfortunately it will not help you get out of a ticket or a Fairfax County reckless driving charge.  Errors like this happen quite often, but it will not change the outcome when the underlying facts that led to a ticket or charge are present.

If you have been charged with speeding or reckless driving in Fairfax or some other area in Northern Virginia, you should be able to find an attorney willing to listen to you for free.  Take advantage of free consultations.  There are viable defenses to a Fairfax County reckless driving charge that may possibly apply — it depends on your facts.  Even if you think you have no defense, a reckless driving lawyer might be able to reach a plea bargain in your favor, because in Fairfax County, if you do not have an attorney for a reckless driving charge, then you will not have a chance to negotiate with a prosecutor.  For more on this and other lesser-known facts about Fairfax County reckless driving, read “5 important things to know about a Fairfax County reckless driving charge.

Image acknowledgements:

[kc_font_style size="8" color="#494949" type="myriad"]Featured Image (lightbulb head) - before modification: Image courtesy of savit keawtavee  / FreeDigitalPhotos.net[/kc_font_style]
[kc_font_style size="8" color="#494949" type="myriad"]Professional thumbs down image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net[/kc_font_style]
The following two tabs change content below.
Brenton D. Vincenzes is a lifelong Fairfax County resident and Fairfax Criminal Defense Lawyer. He is a member of the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National College of DUI Defense, NORML, and has been awarded the following in 2014-15: Top 100 Trial Lawyer (National Trial Lawyers) Top 40 Under 40 Trial Lawyer (National Trial Lawyers) Nationally Ranked Top 10 Under 40 Defense Attorney (National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys) 10 Best in Client Satisfaction for Criminal Defense (American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys) Nationally Ranked Top 1% Attorney Award Recipient (National Association of Distinguished Counsel) As a local leader, Mr. Vincenzes mentors troubled youths, volunteers his time to serve at his church, takes select pro bono clients, and strives to improve the community. Mr. Vincenzes represents men, women, and juveniles through zealous and diligent advocacy, strategic planning, and skilled trial work preparation. Mr. Vincenzes' areas of criminal law practice are broad, and include most felonies and misdemeanors such as: reckless driving, DUI & DWI, drug offenses, assault and battery, domestic violence, assault on an officer, destruction of property, alcohol offenses, firearm offenses, larceny, shoplifting, embezzlement, fraud, and other theft offenses, and moving traffic violations among others. His private legal services are available in most Northern Virginia jurisdictions, including Fairfax County, Arlington County, Prince William County, Loudoun County, Stafford County, Alexandria, Manassas, Leesburg, South Riding, and other cities and towns.



  1. Recommended by a cousin. Nobody knows more about my issues. You are amazing! Thanks!

  2. Thanks for your amazing post.

  3. Useful information. Lucky me . . . I bookmarked it.

  4. you maintain objectivity to the rule then, add a layer of subjectivity

  5. The public can debate all day, but most of the time the poor excuses wouldn’t be a good option…not surprised.

Speak Your Mind