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Loudoun County Attorneys > Blog > Criminal Defense > Five Kinds Of Reckless Driving In Virginia

Five Kinds Of Reckless Driving In Virginia


Every year, car crashes in the United States kill or seriously injure millions of people. Aggressive driving, particularly reckless driving, causes many of these wrecks. Many states, including Virginia, are cracking down on reckless driving enforcement to reduce the number of crashes and victims. Some of the most common reckless driving infractions in Virginia are outlined below.

Aggressive law enforcement action usually means aggressive court action. In such an environment, only a determined Leesburg criminal defense lawyer can successfully resolve reckless driving charges. Often, this resolution is a plea to a lesser included offense. Many infractions are similar to reckless driving, but they don’t have the same direct and collateral consequences as reckless driving. Any solution that keeps a defendant on the road is usually a good solution in these situations.

Lack of Control/Faulty Brakes

This section of the reckless driving law is two sections. It’s illegal to drive out of control or with “inadequate or improperly adjusted brakes.”

Speeding around a curve is the most common lack-of-control infraction. That’s especially true since such behavior causes many accidents. So, aggressive enforcement is in line with the focus of Virginia law enforcement officers. Frequently, drivers oversteer into curves. Then, they overcorrect, causing them to lose control of their vehicles.

A faulty brake citation is usually a fix-it ticket in Loudoun County. If the driver fixes the brakes before the court date, the judge normally dismisses the case. A Leesburg criminal defense lawyer can often secure more time for these drivers to make the necessary repairs.

Illegal Passing

Curves and hills limit visibility. So, it’s illegal to move into the oncoming traffic lane to pass a slower-moving vehicle in these situations.

These infractions often involve a mistake of fact defense. If the area isn’t a designated no-passing zone, a Leesburg criminal defense lawyer can argue that the driver made a mistake and didn’t know the area was a no-passing zone.

A similar defense applies if the speed limit changes and the driver didn’t see the sign, or there was no sign.

Obstructed or Impaired View or Control

An overloaded back seat could obstruct a driver’s view in that direction. An overloaded front seat could obstruct a driver’s side view.

The law doesn’t establish an “obstruction” cutoff. In the field, any slight obstruction could justify an arrest. In court, judges and juries rarely enforce such technicalities. Instead, the obstruction must cause a hazard.

Driving or Passing Two Cars Abreast

It’s usually illegal for two vehicles to drive side-by-side in different lanes. It’s usually also illegal to pass two vehicles at once unless the road is an eight-lane freeway.

Significantly, this law is a regulatory offense, so there’s no intent requirement. Prosecutors don’t have to prove that two drivers planned to drive side-by-side. They just have to prove it happened.

Railroad Crossing Passing

This infraction rarely comes up in freeway situations. It is so unsafe and unsettling to pass at a railroad crossing in these circumstances that even genuine reckless drivers don’t attempt it. This infraction is much more common on surface streets, especially near traffic lights. However, these charges often don’t hold up in court because they are essentially technicalities.

Count on a Dedicated Loudoun County Lawyer

There’s a big difference between an arrest and a conviction in criminal law. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Leesburg, contact Simms Showers, LLP, Attorneys at Law. Convenient payment plans are available.

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