Reckless Driving Accident
“§ 46.2-852. Reckless driving; general rule. Irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving.”Virginia Reckless Driving Attorney Discusses Accident Related Reckless Driving Charges
Being involved in an auto accident is extremely stressful. You may have to deal with insurance claims, property damage, and even possible injuries. To make matters worse, in Virginia, individuals deemed ‘responsible’ for an accident are often cited with Reckless Driving (under 46.2-852). Clients often ask S&R Law Firm the following: “how did I go from being involved in an accident to being charged with a reckless driving criminal misdemeanor?” We feel your pain, after all, accidents happen! The answer, in short, is that the reckless driving general law allows officers to charge individuals who drive a vehicle on any Virginia highway in a manner to endanger life, limb, or property with reckless driving. It is important to bear in mind that being charged with reckless driving does not automatically make you liable or even guilty for reckless driving.Fairfax Virginia Reckless Driving Accident Attorney Explains Everything You Should Keep in Mind After Being Cited with Reckless Driving in Virginia
If you’ve been charged with reckless driving following an automobile accident, keep the following in mind:
- Being involved in an accident is not enough for the Commonwealth to prove that you were driving recklessly. On numerous occasions, the Court of Appeals has held that an accident in-and-of-itself is insufficient to demonstrate reckless driving.
- You should not go to court and plead guilty to reckless driving just because you were involved in an accident: by doing so, you may be accepting liability for the accident, property damage, and any injuries sustained by other individuals.
- If you plead guilty to reckless driving in Virginia, the conviction will stay on your driving record for at least ten years, and on your criminal record indefinitely. This can impact job applications, security clearances, and insurance premiums. If you plan on shopping around for automotive insurance, you may lose any competitive edge that you previously had.
After an individual charged with reckless driving retains our firm, we take numerous factors into consideration with the ultimate goal being a dismissal or reduction of your charge. First, we determine the strength of the Commonwealth’s case. For example, were there any witnesses? Were other cars involved? What statements were made by all parties involved in the accident? And most importantly, did the officer issuing the reckless driving summons actually witness the accident? This is extremely important for the following reasons:
- If the officer issuing the summons did not witness the accident, then the officer cannot speculate as to how the accident took place. The rule against hearsay will likely prohibit the officer from testifying as to what another driver might have told him. Additionally, the officer cannot provide testimony based on things he or she did not observe.
- If a single car accident has taken place without any witnesses, then it will be difficult to prove that you were driving recklessly beyond a reasonable doubt. In a criminal proceeding, you cannot be compelled to testify!
- If a multiple car accident has taken place, the officer will have to subpoena other driver(s) to appear in court. During initial court appearances, witnesses are (in many cases) not subpoenaed. This provides your attorney with the opportunity to reach a favorable outcome in your case!
If you have been charged with reckless driving in Virginia, Call S&R Law Firm for a FREE Consultation at 703-273-6431. Our Attorney Line is Open 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week.