Reckless Driving By General Danger to Life, Limb Or Property

Although excessive speed is the most commonly charged reckless driving offense, anything that is deemed to endanger life, limb, or property may also be charged. Below, a Newport News reckless driving lawyer discusses what this means, and provides examples of when you could face this offense. To learn more call and schedule a consultation today.

What Is Reckless Driving to Life, Limb, or Property?

Reckless driving danger to life, limb or property is the general definition of reckless driving according to Virginia code section 46.2-852. This section in particular states that someone is guilty of reckless driving regardless of the speed that they were driving if the manner in which they were operating a vehicle presented a danger to a person or a property. It’s very vague and a lot of different behaviors tend to fit in to this.

How You Get Charged With Reckless by General Danger

The reason that this category exists is for officers to do just that. If they believe that there was someone on the road that was doing something that amounted to being reckless, they can go ahead and charge them with the general reckless without having to fit their particular behavior in to any other type of reckless driving.

Occurrence of This Charge and Reasons to Hire Lawyer

After reckless driving by speed, this is the type of reckless driving most commonly charged. The best reasons to hire a lawyer are because this charge is extremely vague which means that it’s not always going to be easy for the officer to prove in court that what the driver was doing amounted to illegal behavior.

There’s a lot of behavior that isn’t really positive behavior but it’s also not illegal. So, it’s important to have somebody who can search through the case law and find similar cases where people were doing the same thing that the driver is alleged to have done to determine whether or not he should walk out with a conviction or have their case dismissed.

Evidence That Will Be Used in Court

Due to the fact that this is in a very vague category of reckless driving, the underlying behavior that’s being charged varies a lot, and the evidence is going to depend on exactly what that behavior is in the facts of the case.

The officer needs to present evidence to show that whatever it is that he’s alleging the driver was doing rose to the level of presenting a reckless danger to life, limb or property. He also has to prove that the behavior occurred beyond reasonable doubt and that the behavior was due to the defendant’s fault.

Sometimes the evidence will only be the officer’s opinion but without a little bit more than just what he’s saying may have happened, it’s going to be difficult for the officer to get a conviction out of it.

So, a lawyer can help refute this by finding case law to support your side and by cross examining the officer heavily to make sure that nothing is missed.

Differences From Other Reckless Driving Charges

This charge is different because it’s going to be different every single time somebody goes in front of a judge for general reckless. There’s so many things that could fall in to this category that what happens is going to vary extremely. Due to this fact, there’s a lot more room for interpretation and opinion than in other types of reckless driving cases. Sometimes a good attorney can argue without using any type of evidence and win the case for general reckless because sometimes there isn’t anything in law or in case law to go against them.

Is This Treated Any Differently in Court?

General reckless driving is so much more subjective than other types of reckless driving. So, therefore, there is a lot more that’s going to be considered than just the plain statute in deciding whether the driver’s behavior was actually reckless. It’s very possible for an officer to issue this kind of reckless driving ticket for anything which may not end up being criminal in nature at all. It’s possible for the defense to rely on case law from other cases. Whereas in reckless driving by speeding, for example, case law would very rarely come in to play.

How This Charge Can Affect Commercial Drivers

Every single type of reckless driving is considered a serious violation, which means that you’re at risk of a disqualification if you have too many serious violations in a short period of time. This means if your vehicle’s license is disqualified, you’re no longer allowed to operate a commercial vehicle.

This is the consequence whether or not the vehicle you were driving at the time of incident is your personal vehicle or your commercial vehicle.

How an Attorney Can Help

Your attorney can explain exactly what needs to happen in court on the officer’s end in order for you to be convicted so that you can both work together to make sure that you’re as prepared as can possibly be going in to the trial. There’s a lot of different strategies that you can take and your lawyer is best equipped to figure out what the best one is.