Driver Improvement

Group of people during driving remediation classes

In some instances, completing a driver improvement course can have a positive impact on the outcome of your Virginia traffic case.

General Information about Driving Improvement Courses:

When you receive a speeding ticket or are charged with Reckless Driving in Virginia, often times a driver improvement course will be ordered by a Court.  However, Peters Law Firm, PLLC, frequently advises clients to complete a driver improvement course before they go to Court for their trial date.  This is because, generally speaking, case outcomes tend to be better when a driver completes a course in advance of being ordered to do so by a judge.  In the eyes of a Court, it can “mitigate” (or help) the defense a case when the driver “does the homework” in advance of the hearing.

Whether recommended by an attorney or ordered by a Court, there are three types of driver improvement courses that can be completed in speeding and reckless driving cases:

Selection of the appropriate category listed above depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case. If hired to represent a driver, Peters Law Firm, PLLC, will advise the client of the best category of driving school for their case, and provide specific information about which course to complete in that category.

Can these courses be completed online?

The first two programs can be completed online.  There are numerous types of these courses available to sign up for online, however, not all programs will be accepted by a Virginia Court. When you hire Peters Law Firm, PLLC, an acceptable course will be provided to you.

The third program has a classroom component and an online component. If you are an out-of-state driver and cannot complete RADEP because you do not live in Virginia, then Peters Law Firm, PLLC, will supply you with an alternative online course that will be accepted as a substitute by a Virginia Court.

Deferred Disposition Cases:

When a Court orders a driver improvement program to be completed by a driver, often times the driver is given 90 days (or 3 months) to complete the program and submit proof of completion to the Court.  This is called a “deferred disposition.”  When this happens, Peters Law Firm, PLLC, provides a client with specific, easy, and detailed instructions regarding how to get the documentation to the Court on time.

What if a driver doesn’t have time to complete a course before their hearing date?

Peters Law Firm, PLLC, is able to request a continuance of the trial date so a client has time to complete a course.  However, this does not apply to deferred disposition cases, where the deadline is set by a Court and usually cannot be extended.

It is rare for a Court to grant a continuance for a driver to be granted more time to complete a course in a deferred disposition case.  However, under narrow circumstances Peters Law Firm, PLLC, has helped clients get an extension of time (by appearing in Court on behalf of a client on their deferred disposition date, explaining why more time is needed, and presenting necessary documentation which proves the validity of the client’s extenuating circumstances).

Safe Points:

In some cases, a driver may also earn safe driving points by completing a driver improvement clinic.  Safe driving points offset demerit points when a driver has been convicted of a traffic violation and receives demerit points.  There is a maximum of 5 safe driving points which may be accumulated by a driver.

Overall Tips for Completing Driving Improvement Courses:

  • Bring the original certificate of completion to Court (copies or faxes will NOT be accepted).
  • Don’t EVER wait until the last minute to complete a course. Even with online courses, certificates of completion are not always released the same day the program is finished.  So if a course is finished the day before a trial, the driver may not be able to provide the certificate to the Court at the hearing because they may not have it in their possession yet.  So don’t wait until the last minute – start a course ASAP!
  • RADEP – slots fill up quickly. If it is advised or ordered that you complete this program, please sign up ASAP!