Hampton Roads Reckless Driving Accidents

In the event of a car accident with injuries or significant property damage, a driver can be charged with reckless driving, meaning that they were operating the vehicle in an unsafe manner that endangered the life or property of themselves or another person. The consequence of a reckless driving offense includes heavy fines, loss of driving privileges and jail time.

To avoid or minimize the consequences of a conviction, alleged offenders should speak to a lawyer who is familiar with Hampton Roads reckless driving accident claims for help. An experienced reckless driving attorney could work to protect your rights and guide you through the ensuing legal process.

How is Reckless By Accident Typically Charged?

Reckless driving by accident is not a charge that is tacked onto every crash. Officers have a significant amount of discretion as to what they will charge, whether it is reckless driving, following too closely, improper use of a turn signal, or any other traffic infraction. Generally, the officers look at the nature of the driving, any injuries involved, and any damage to the vehicles or other property.

The vast majority of reckless driving by speeding cases involve a person traveling over a speed that is deemed reckless by the court, meaning that a person is traveling 120 miles over the speed limit. With reckless driving generally, the officer or the prosecution bears the burden of showing that a person was driving in a reckless manner that endangered people. The prosecution has to show a person’s behavior as well as showing how that behavior was reckless, so there is an added step in the prosecution.

Though reckless driving is still a Class One misdemeanor, it is less likely to result in jail time, though that is still a possibility.

Consequences for a Commercial Driver

Reckless driving by accident is a misdemeanor and is considered a reckless driving charge. A conviction of this would likely result in a suspension of Commercial Driver’s License privileges. Judges understand that and do not want to make people lose their job if they can avoid it. Even if the evidence may be sufficient for a conviction, if the person has a CDL and if insurance is settling everything, judges may be willing to work with the person to avoid a conviction for reckless driving that would lead to a loss of their driver’s license

Determining Fault in an Accident Case

In an accident case, fault is ultimately something for the judge to decide. The judge has to determine who is at fault, and lawyers present evidence to persuade the judge of their client’s innocence. The fact that there was an accident in and of itself is not proof of reckless driving, according to settled law within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Evidence in reckless driving by accident cases include all the details about how the accident happened. Examples of evidence are the speeds of the cars involved, the road conditions, and any other information that could help the defense present to the judge the best explanation for the accident.

Accidents can happen when a person was doing everything correctly but something happened ahead of them that they were not able to account for or avoid. That is something that the defense attorney shows to the judge to explain that their client was not at fault.

How an Attorney Could Help

When a dedicated attorney meets with a client who is charged with reckless driving by accident, the first step is to get an idea of what happened. Lawyers will want to know all of the details of the case, including any injuries, whether or not all parties were insured, and how insurance is handling or has handled the matter. They also need to know a person’s driving record because the judge is more likely to believe that the case is just the result of a lapse in judgment and may mitigate the sentence if the person has a good record. However, if a person has a bad driving record, that may not be the case.

A person charged with reckless driving may want to hire a lawyer to ensure their rights are protected and to help them avoid the consequences of a conviction. Even though they may not get jail time, a person is still looking at a possible criminal conviction if they are found guilty. Also, if there are injuries or there was serious property damage, this may be a situation in which the person could be facing elevated penalties. Most laypeople are not comfortable with the laws of evidence or the rules of court and do not understand how to handle those things. An attorney could help defend the charged person in court and will have more knowledge and experience in these kinds of cases.

Speak to a Hampton Roads Reckless by Accident Lawyer Today

It may be beneficial to have a Hampton Roads Reckless by Accident Lawyer work on your behalf. They could investigate the case and gather evidence to mitigate the charges and avoid a conviction. Those who have been charged with a reckless driving offense should not try to defend their case on their own.

A knowledgeable attorney who has experience with reckless driving offenses could help you understand the charges against you and protect your rights in court. The penalties of a conviction could have lasting consequences for convicted offenders. The best way to avoid the consequences of a conviction, alleged offenders should speak to a seasoned attorney. Call today to start building your defense.