Virginia Reckless Driving By Accident Charges
Reckless driving by accident is a type of reckless driving that falls into the category of general reckless driving. General reckless driving is a catch-all category that a whole bunch of different driving behaviors can fall into as long as it qualifies as driving in a reckless manner that endangers life, limb, or property. Reckless driving by accident specifically is when there is a collision that results from somebody’s reckless driving.
Value of a Virginia Reckless Driving by Accident Lawyer
The best reason to hire a lawyer for reckless driving by accident in Virginia is because reckless driving by accident is probably the most commonly dismissed type of reckless driving in court. It’s extremely beatable because often times, the officer didn’t actually witness the behavior that he is alleging was reckless. Therefore, it’s really hard for the officer to prove that somebody was behaving in a reckless manner when they don’t have any proof except for the resulting collision that came from the alleged behavior.
An attorney knows this and knows exactly what needs to be said and what questions need to be asked to the officer in order to demonstrate that there is not enough proof for a conviction here. There is also a lot of case law that supports the position that the mere happening of an accident is not a proof that someone was driving recklessly, and an attorney knows how to argue this best in court for your benefit. Reckless driving by accident is a type of case where a strong cross-examination of a police officer makes all the difference in the world.
How Reckless Driving by Accident is Charged
Reckless driving by accident is typically charged when the police show up on to the scene of an accident, determine that there is a citation necessary for somebody, and there are no other traffic offenses that fit the situation better. It’s not necessarily always going to be charged at every accident, as some accidents are just clearly accidents and the police do not feel the need to issue a citation. However, some police departments do have a policy of charging somebody in an accident with reckless driving, so it is not always completely up to the police officer’s personal discretion.
Severity of These Charges
All types of reckless driving are the same level of reckless driving. They are all Class 1 misdemeanors and all have the same exact potential consequences. Whether a judge will penalize somebody in the same way that they would someone by reckless by speed, that varies from case to case. It might be a less severe form of punishment, but the charge and conviction is still exactly the same.
How Reckless by Accident Differs From Reckless by Speed
The manner in which reckless driving by accident needs to be proven by the officer is going to be different because the evidence for proving reckless driving by accident is a lot more subjective than reckless driving by speeding. Typically, the officer didn’t witness first-hand the accident, whereas, with speeding, the officer’s first-hand testimony is usually the only evidence presented. Therefore, a Virginia police officer has to rely on other evidence, such as witnesses or statements of anyone involved. The evidence for reckless driving by accident is generally not as strong as it is for speeding, so a conviction is a lot harder to come by.
Building a Defense
The law does recognize that some accidents are inevitable and there is not always somebody who is at fault. Sometimes with accidents, someone can be charged with a reckless by accident, but in the end, there is not going to be enough proof for a conviction. The fact that there was a collision at all does not necessarily mean that the accident was somebody’s fault or that someone was doing something illegal or wrong to cause it.
There are a lot of legal excuses such as if there was something on the road that the driver tried to avoid, and therefore caused the collision, or if there was a mechanical defect with the driver’s vehicle that was no fault of his and could not have been avoided. Situations like these are obviously not the fault of the driver and therefore, in court, it won’t result in a conviction.
What is Involved in Building a Defense?
The defense entails providing an explanation that is different than the defendant being at fault for the accident. If there was another person involved in a criminal case like reckless driving, they’re not automatically required to appear in court. Although, they may be subpoenaed. However, for civil cases, they are required to appear. So the evidence for criminal cases is going to be less in depth, as generally there are less people present who can testify as to what happened. Civil cases are much more in depth in terms of evidence.
Impact of a VA Reckless Driving by Accident Charge on a CDL License
Any type of reckless driving is going to be considered a serious violation, which can result in disqualification of your commercial driver’s license. Someone who gets two convictions within three years typically will lead to a 60-day disqualification, and three or more convictions for serious violations in three years result in 120-day disqualification.
Disqualification means that you’re not allowed to drive your commercial vehicle during this time. You can be disqualified even if you were driving your personal vehicle, which is definitely something to keep in mind. For someone who depends on their ability to drive to make a living, it is even more important to speak with a reckless driving accident lawyer in Virginia.