Reckless Driving Defenses in Virginia
If you are charged with reckless driving in Virginia, it does not mean that you will automatically be convicted. It is up to the Commonwealth of Virginia to prove that all of the elements of the specific kind of reckless driving charged have been met. There are many defenses to reckless driving, and a skilled reckless driving defense attorney can help you to provide the best defense for your situation. This article discusses some of the most common defenses to reckless driving charges in Virginia.
The Ticket Itself
The reckless driving ticket that the police give you has to legally conform to certain standards. Sometimes the ticket is not filled out correctly and therefore the charge itself can be thrown out. There are also requirements that the police fulfill in order to be able to give you the ticket, such as that they witnessed the reckless driving or that the ticket is given at the scene of the accident or hospital.
Part of the process of charging someone with reckless driving includes the officer noting the location of where the offense took place. Sometimes the police make mistakes on what municipality the offense allegedly took place in and this mistake can help to get the charge dismissed.
Virginia police use different tools to measure speed, and therefore charge someone with reckless driving based on speed. The police may use RADAR, LIDAR, or the speedometer of the police car itself to try to prove the speed of the driver. However, sometimes these tools are faulty or inaccurate. RADAR and LIDAR need to be calibrated periodically to make sure that they are clocking an accurate speed. If the devices are not calibrated, and if the police cannot prove the calibration with a certificate or other proof, the charge may be thrown out. The certificate also needs to meet certain statutory requirements to be valid, and a deficiency can also constitute a defense to the reckless driving charges.
An accident itself is not enough to warrant a general reckless driving charge; there needs to be other proof. If there is not a witness to the accident, or other evidence of actual reckless driving, you may be able to defend against the charges based on lack of evidence.
General Reckless Driving Defenses
If you are charged under the general reckless driving statute you may be able to mount a defense based on the fact that the behavior the police tried to call “reckless driving” was not actually reckless driving. Just because someone violated a traffic law does not mean that he or she was driving recklessly.
Negotiating Lowering Charges
Reckless driving is a criminal charge. Even if you believe the police will have no trouble proving that you are guilty of reckless driving, you may be able to get the charges lowered to something less serious by having your attorney negotiate with the prosecutor.
Leesburg, Virginia Reckless Driving Attorneys
If you are charged with reckless driving anywhere in northern Virginia or Baltimore county, you need a knowledgeable reckless driving attorney to help with your defense. Our experienced reckless driving attorneys at Simms Showers, LLP in Leesburg, Virginia can help you to wage the best defense possible against your reckless driving charge.