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Failing to Give Proper Signals (46.2-860)

You’re driving in traffic and want to quickly change lanes. You don’t need to signal, right? It’s just a quick lane change. What if you’re approaching a fork in the road and you want to keep to the right? It’s not technically a turn, more of a slight right so you don’t need a signal, right? Wrong! By performing this split-second maneuver in Virginia, you could be committing a criminal offense. Virginia requires a turn signal to show your intent to turn or turn slights. Additionally, Virginia requires signals for slowing down or stopping. Failing to Give Proper Signals is a form of Reckless Driving in Virginia, and Reckless Driving is not just a simple traffic offense, but a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is a serious crime. If you are charged with Reckless Driving in a situation like this, working with a Fairfax Reckless Driving attorney right away is likely in your best interest. We’ll tell you more about why below.

Virginia Code and Failing to Give Proper Signals

Failing to Give Proper Signals is defined under the Virginia Code as;

A person shall be guilty of Reckless Driving who fails to give adequate and timely signals of intention to turn, partly turn, slow down, or stop, as required by Article 6 (46.2-848 et seq.) of this chapter.

The article that is referenced in the above statute, Article 6, details the appropriate ways to turn and slow down. Article 6 states;

Every driver who intends to back, stop, turn, or partly turn from a direct line shall first see that such movement can be made safely and, whenever the operation of any other vehicle may be affected by such movement, shall give the signals required in this article, plainly visible to the driver of such other vehicle of his intention to make such movement.

There you have it: if you maneuver your vehicle in a way that is deemed unsafe by an officer, you can unfortunately be charged with Reckless Driving. If this happens to you, a good course of action is to get in touch with a Reckless Driving lawyer serving Fairfax. They will be familiar with area courts, judges, and prosecutors, which will help them know how to build the strongest possible defense and get the best outcome possible.

Consequences of Failing to Give Proper Signals

Reckless Driving is a Class 1 Misdemeanor and carries a punishment of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine not exceeding $2,500.00. Additionally, Reckless Driving is a six (6) point offense on your driving record. A Reckless Driving conviction stays on your driving record for 11 years and Reckless Driving remains on a criminal record for the rest of your life and cannot be expunged.

Regardless of the reason for a Reckless Driving charge, it can have serious consequences for your life. If your license is suspended, you will not be able to legally drive to work. If you have too many points on your license and you drive a company vehicle as part of your job, you could find yourself unemployed because your employer cannot afford the expensive insurance rates. In addition, if your case is more complicated and involves driving while intoxicated, an accident, or excessive speeding, you will face penalties at the harsher end of the spectrum.

The good news is that a Fairfax Reckless Driving attorney can often help you get the charge or your fines and penalties reduced. It is almost always worth it to get a free consultation with a local lawyer to make sure you understand your rights and how a lawyer may be able to help.

If you need help in this situation, contact S&R Law Firm at 703.273.6431 for a FREE consultation.

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