Newport News Reckless Driving By Accident Charges

Reckless driving by accident refers to when someone is issued a reckless driving ticket due to the occurrence of an accident. It is a type of general reckless driving, which is a catch-all category that covers many behaviors that police officers allege were dangerous at the time of the incident.

Below, a Newport News reckless driving attorney discusses reckless driving by accident (or “reckless by accident”) charges in more detail and explains why you should consult with a lawyer if you are charged.

How Reckless Driving By Accident is Typically Charged in Newport News

Reckless by accident happens when police arrive at the scene of an accident and believe that somebody is at fault. Some of the local police departments have a policy that states that they are required to issue somebody a citation for something whenever there is an accident with any question of fault. There is not always going to be a lot of discretion available to the police officer, sometimes making it seem as though it is tacked on to every accident.

However with that said, it is not always easy to determine what caused it in the first place. Just because someone is charged does not mean that they are going to go home with a conviction. The best thing they can do is get an attorney to figure out what the next step is.

What If The Accident Was Not Your Fault?

Accidents happen all the time and are not necessarily someone’s fault. The law does recognize that the mere occurrence of an accident is not enough for someone to be convicted of reckless driving. There are things that could have happened to cause the accident and, if they can be explained in court in such a way to persuade the judge, they can qualify as a legal excuse.

For example, in many cases the accident may have been unavoidable. Some example of this are where:

  • There was another driver who caused the collision and then fled the scene
  • There was an object in the road that the driver had to swerve around in order to avoid hitting, and not cause an accident
  • There was a mechanical defect in the vehicle of which the driver had no prior warning

All of these things are reasons why someone might be found not guilty of reckless driving in an accident situation.

Is Reckless Driving By Accident a Less Severe Form of Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving by accident is not a less severe form of reckless driving. Reckless driving by accident may seem like it would be less severe because it involves an accident. When people think of accidents, they tend to think that no one was at fault because that is the definition of an accident. However, reckless driving by accident is the same level of criminal offense as every other type of reckless driving. A conviction will still be a class 1 misdemeanor on their record and it is very serious, though an attorney can work with you to take steps to avoid a conviction.

How This Charge Could Affect a CDL Holder

This charge can affect a commercial driver’s license because it is considered a very serious violation in terms of commercial driver’s licenses.

Someone who is convicted of too many serious violations within a short period of time faces a disqualification of their commercial driver’s license. When someone’s commercial driver’s license is disqualified, they are no longer allowed to operate the commercial vehicle for a specified amount of time depending on how many convictions they have.

Obviously, this is very serious for someone whose livelihood depends on having a commercial driver’s license. This is something to keep in mind, especially because it is possible to face disqualification even if you were driving your personal vehicle when you were charged.

Why You Should Hire An Attorney For a Reckless Driving By Accident Charge

A reason someone may want to hire a lawyer for a reckless by accident charge is because this charge is incredibly beatable. There is a much lower possibility of the officer having actually firsthand witnessed the event, which means that his testimony can only prove so much in court.

For these kind of cases, there is so much wiggle room that an attorney is the best way to get the case reduced and usually dismissed altogether–unless there is some other evidence that the police officer has aside from just what he witnessed when he came to the scene.

It is not necessarily harder to defend yourself in these cases compared to reckless speeding, but it is a little more complicated. If you do not know what you have to prove or what the officer has to prove, then it is going to be difficult to do the right thing and get yourself out of the ticket.