Truck Driver Convicted of Reckless Driving and Involuntary Manslaughter in Virginia
After killing two people in a fatal accident, a truck driver was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and reckless driving in Virginia, reported NBC4. The truck driver received an 11-year sentence for his actions, including a suspended sentence of seven years.
The accident in question occurred on November 2nd in Fredericksburg, Virginia. On that date, the truck driver was on Route 3 when a moped zipped in front of his rig. The truck driver swerved to avoid the moped, while cursing at the moped driver.
In that brief moment of distraction, the truck driver failed to notice a line of vehicles stopped at a red light. The truck driver collided with several of those vehicles with deadly force. A total of six vehicles were involved in this accident, resulting in two deaths and four serious injuries.
At trial, the prosecution offered evidence that the truck driver failed to brake before colliding with the other vehicles. The prosecution also offered evidence that the truck driver was using his cell phone prior to or during the accident. Additionally, the prosecution offered evidence that the truck driver failed to disclose a medical condition during a previous examination.
Overall, there was substantial evidence offered against the truck driver. As a result, the truck driver pleaded guilty to reckless driving and involuntary manslaughter.
Considering the gravity of this news story, it feels like an opportune time to review Virginia laws and penalties for reckless driving and involuntary manslaughter.
Reckless Driving Laws and Penalties
Reckless driving laws appear under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-852. Essentially, reckless driving occurs when a person operates a vehicle and puts other people or property at risk. If that person’s conduct is intentional and careless, it may rise to the level of reckless driving in Virginia.
Under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-868, reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The typical penalties for a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia include up to one year in jail and $2,500 in fines, either or both.
Involuntary Manslaughter Laws and Penalties
Involuntary manslaughter laws appear under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-36.1. Essentially, involuntary manslaughter occurs when a drunk driver causes the death of another person. If such a driver demonstrates extremely reckless behavior, then aggravated involuntary manslaughter charges might be appropriate.
Under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-36, involuntary manslaughter is a Class 5 felony. The typical penalties for a Class 5 felony in Virginia include one to 10 years in prison and $2,500 in fines, either or both. Aggravated involuntary manslaughter features more severe prison sentence of one to 20 years.
Contact Us Today for Help
If you have a pending reckless driving charge in Virginia, it is beneficial to retain the services of a proficient criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Simms Showers LLP, servicing Leesburg, Winchester, Fairfax, and Manassas, have proven experience in matters of criminal defense in Virginia, including reckless driving charges. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.