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Virginia Reckless Driver Appeals Conviction In Federal Court

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A Virginia man convicted for a reckless driving incident in 2017 recently filed an appeal in federal court, according to an article by WTOP.

The underlying incident in this case occurred on September 8, 2017. On that date, the Virginia man was driving a food truck to Ashburn for a football game. After driving through a stop sign at Watson Road, this man collided with a passenger vehicle. This accident caused the death of a 39-year-old woman and injuries to four passengers, including three children.

After a trial in the Loudoun County Circuit Court, the Virginia man was convicted of reckless driving and several other offenses. More specifically, the reckless driving charge involved operating a vehicle with faulty or improperly maintained brakes.

Representing himself, the Virginia man filed several appeals to the conviction. But several higher courts in Virginia upheld the conviction and sentence, including the Court of Appeals of Virginia and the Supreme Court of Virginia. This man’s final appeal in the Virginia courts ended with a denial approximately one year ago.

At this point, the Virginia man filed an appeal in the federal courts, alleging a violation of constitutional rights. This man claims that public defendants committed numerous errors at trial. Consequently, the Virginia man is requesting that the federal courts order a release from prison or additional proceedings.

While this legal situation continues to develop in federal court, it seems like a suitable occasion to review Virginia’s reckless driving laws and penalties.

Reckless Driving Laws in Virginia

The Virginia laws against reckless driving appear under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-852. This section makes it illegal to operate any vehicle in a way that endangers other people or property. This is a broad standard that can apply to various driving conduct on Virginia roads.

Furthermore, the Virginia Criminal Code also classifies certain types of conduct as reckless driving. Within these specific versions of reckless driving, Code of Virginia Section 46.2-853 makes it unlawful to operate a vehicle:

  • With improperly adjusted or faulty brakes; or
  • Without proper control.

The consequences are typically similar, whether a person violates the general rule against reckless driving or a specific version of reckless driving. As detailed below, the penalties for reckless driving are fairly standardized in Virginia.

Reckless Driving Penalties in Virginia

The Virginia penalties for reckless driving appear under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-868. This section classifies most reckless driving incidents as Class 1 misdemeanors. A reckless driving conviction at this level can lead to:

  • Criminal fines up to $2,500;
  • Confinement in jail for a maximum of 12 months; and
  • Driver’s license suspension for 60 to 180 days.

That being said, certain reckless driving incidents can result in Class 6 felony charges. But the felony version of this offense only applies if the reckless driver causes a fatality while their license is suspended or revoked.

A reckless driving conviction at the Class 6 felony level can lead to:

  • Criminal fines up to $2,500;
  • Imprisonment for one to five years; and
  • Driver’s license suspension for 60 to 180 days.

Do You Need Legal Help?

If you are facing reckless driving charges, we can help. Reach out to the skilled Leesburg reckless driving lawyers at Simms Showers LLP for an initial consultation.

Resource:

wtop.com/loudoun-county/2021/12/driver-in-fatal-2017-loudoun-co-food-truck-crash-appeals-to-federal-court/

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