Community Service Opportunities for Reckless Driving Defense Mitigation

We often recommend to our clients charged with reckless driving in Virginia that they complete community service before their court date. Judges in Virginia appreciate it when a driver takes responsibility for his actions and doing community service is one way a driver can show that he understands the seriousness of his charge and wants to give back to the community.

Doing community service ahead of court is helpful because judges are not authorized by the Code of Virginia to order that community service be done as part of the  penalty for reckless driving. Instead, the Code of Virginia specifies that reckless driving can be punished by a fine of up to $2,500, a suspended license for up to 6 months, and jail time for up to 1 year. Judges, however, can take the community services hours a driver has already completed by his court date into consideration when determining whether or not to find a person guilty of reckless driving, or in considering whether or not to impose jail time. (To learn more about reckless driving defense, click here.)

How much community service we suggest will depend on the facts of your case. We often recommend community service where we believe jail time is a strong  possibility or if we believe completing driving school is not enough mitigation. In reckless driving by speed cases, where the speed differential between the speed  limit and the speed alleged is great, the amount of community service hours we recommend usually increases. For example, if you were charged with driving 100 mph in a 55 mph zone, we may suggest that you do 40 hours of community service before appearing for court in the General District Court. This will also depend on the jurisdiction your charge is pending in.

It is important that your community service hours be done at a legitimate non-profit organization that benefits the community. Don’t do online community service. Find a place with brick and mortar. Some of our clients pick a cause that they are interested in or one they think a judge may be interested in. Before beginning your community service hours, you should check with the non-profit organization that you have in mind that they can write you a letter on their letterhead paper stating the hours you have completed, signed by a representative of the organization.

Below is a list of some of the non-profit organizations our clients have volunteered with in the past. Our recommendation is that you call them to see if they can assist you with volunteer hours. Some non-profits will want a letter from us clarifying that the volunteer we referred to them is volunteering as the result of a reckless driving case and not for a violent crime or felony. If you hired us for your reckless driving matter and need help with a referral letter to get started with community service, let us know and we’ll be glad to help.

 Hampton Roads Community Service Opportunities

> Meals on Wheels / Call (757) 419-8810

Location: 4588 S Plaza Trail UNIT 108, Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Meals on Wheels helps serve homebound individuals who are in need of meals. 

> Mercy Drops / Call (757) 967-7599

Location: 504 McLean St, Portsmouth, VA 23701

Mercy drops is a non-profit organization that brings groceries to low income areas. You can volunteer to assist in care package distribution.

> Union Mission / Call (757) 627-8686

Location: 5100 E Virginia Beach Blvd, Norfolk, VA 23502

Union Mission has many volunteer opportunities such as: donating meals for those in our shelters,  general yardwork and landscaping, assisting in the thrift store, and assisting with their programs.

> Mount Trashmore / Call (757) 385-2995 / Reach out to George Filomarino (Park Supervisor II), Email: [email protected]. Weekend hours available.

Location: 310 Edwin Dr., Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Mount Trashmore is a park in the City of Virginia Beach and volunteers can help keep the park clean.

* Please Note: Mount Trashmore requires that you give them a letter from your attorney stating your charge and the hours of community service you want to complete if you wish to volunteer with them. Please get this letter from your attorney before contacting Mount Trashmore about volunteering. *

> RedCross / Call (800) 733-2767 (Customer Service)

Location: Multiple locations in Hampton roads

RedCross has many volunteer opportunities such as: shelter volunteer, disaster health services volunteer, blood collection support, disaster action team, and more.

> Salvation Army / Call (800) 728-7825 (Customer service)

Location: Multiple locations in Hampton roads

Salvation Army has many volunteer opportunity such as: missing persons, disaster services, seasonal services, casework services, homemaker services, transitional housing, music & arts programs, character building programs, food pantry, etc,.

> Habitat For Humanity / Call (757) 596-5553

Location: 11011 Warwick Blvd, Newport News, VA 23601

Habitat for Humanity has a need for build and repair volunteers and restore volunteers.

> Chesapeake Animal Services / Call (757) 546-5355

Location: 2100 Military Hwy S., Chesapeake, VA 23320

Chesapeake animal services has many volunteer teams and programs for animal adoption, including dogs and cats.

> Judeo-Christian Outreach Center / Call  (757) 491-2846

Location: 1053 Virginia Beach Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Judeo-Christian Outreach Center has volunteer opportunities including working in their dining hall and kitchen, food pantry, helping with donations, and janitorial needs.

> VBSPCA / Call (757) 427-0070

Location:  3040 Holland Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23453

VBSPCA has many volunteer opportunities such as: walking dogs, feeding cats and dogs, working with children and animals through their education department, visiting residents in nursing homes, and more.

> Williamsburg House of Mercy / Call Ellen at (757) 229-3700 or email [email protected]

Location: 10 Harrison Avenue Williamsburg, VA 23185

Provides homeless shelter and soup kitchen. Volunteers are especially needed for their food pantry. (Must be age 18.)

> Community Knights / Call Tammy Rodriguez at (757) 932-8440. Hours available are Wednesday night from 5pm to 10pm and some weekdays.

Location: 12742 Nettles Drive, Newport News, VA 23606

The Knights raise funds to support local non-profits. Volunteers are needed on Wednesday nights for bingo and durig the day time for set up.

> THRIVE Peninsula / Call (757) 877-6211 x2 or email [email protected]

Location: 13195 Warwick Boulevard, Unit 2C, Newport News, VA 23602-8320

Seeks to help individuals through difficult times. Help needed in:

Cleaning the outreach center
Duties: Vacuuming, wiping counters, dusting, taking out trash, etc.
Time: 2 hours on Tuesdays anytime between 2pm – 5pm

Shoe packing for the Shoe Mission
Duties: Sort donated shoes into pairs and tie together. Put tied shoes into bags of 25.
Time: Flexible, as needed, during normal office hours (10am – 5pm)

Front Desk Help
Duties: Answer phones, transfer calls, greet visitors, receive donations
Time: During normal office hours (10am – 5pm), as needed

Food Pantry Assistance
Duties: Receive donations, sort food, distribute food
Time: During normal office hours (10am – 5pm), as needed

> Dreams of Hope Foundation / Betty Dent, Volunteer Coordinator, at (757) 806-6339. Hours available are 8am – 2pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

Location: 7320 Warwick Blvd. Newport News, VA 23607

Provides families with assistance with clothing and transportation. Also, operates a re-entry program for convicted felons.

> Five Loaves Food Pantry / Call Brother Tim at (757) 775-4211 or email him via this link. Opportunities to serve Monday-Saturday (mostly in the morning, sometimes as early as 6:30 a.m.). 

Location: Varies

Distributes food to the hungry in the Virginia Penninsula. 

> Reach, Inc (Reading Enriches All Children) / Call (757) 627-4722

Location: 5802 E Virginia Beach Blvd, Suite 158 JANAF, Norfolk, VA 23502

Promotes literacy among children in the Hampton Roads area.

> Ronald McDonald House of Norfolk / Call (757) 627-5386, email [email protected], or fill out the application form on their website

Location: 404 Colley Ave, Norfolk, VA 23507

Opportunities to serve include providing meals, doing general housekeeping, and assiting with special events.

> Red Wing ParkCall (757) 437-2038 / Reach out to Dannielle Flynn (Park Assistant), Email: [email protected]. Hours available are 7:00 a.m. t0 8:30 p.m. daily.

Location: 1398 General Booth Blvd., Virginia Beach, VA 23451.

Red Wing is a park in the City of Virginia Beach, and volunteers can help keep the park clean.

* Please Note: Red Wing Park requires that you give them a letter from your attorney stating your charge and the hours of community service you want to complete if you wish to volunteer with them. Please get this letter from your attorney before contacting Red Wing Park about volunteering. *

> Little Island ParkCall (757) 385-7324 / Reach out to Mindy Myers (Park Assistant), Email: [email protected]. Hours available (as of May 1, 2024), are 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily.

Location: 3820 Sandpiper Rd., Virginia Beach, VA 23456.

Little Island Park is located at Sandbridge Beach, and volunteers can help keep the park clean.

* Please Note: Little Island Park requires that you give them a letter from your attorney stating your charge and the hours of community service you want to complete if you wish to volunteer with them. Please get this letter from your attorney before contacting Little Island Park about volunteering. *

> Food Bank of South Eastern VA and Eastern Shore / Call Stephanie Cuffee at (757) 314-4559 (Volunteer Coordinator) or Amari Hinton at (757) 269-9569 (Volunteer Coordinator)

Location: 800 Tidewater Drive, Norfolk, Virginia 23504

Opportunities to service inlcude assiting with the mobile food pantry, helping with quality assurance at the warehouse, helping with special events, and assiting with Youth and Family nights.

This list is not exhaustive and we will periodically update this list. Some of our clients have volunteered at their local church or in school tutoring or sports programs.  

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