3 Defense Strategies to Virginia Reckless Driving Failure to Maintain Control
This guide examines one of the reckless driving laws in Virginia: "Failure to maintain proper control / inadequate brakes," a criminal Class 1 misdemeanors. A Class 1 misdemeanor is an offense with a maximum possible penalty of 12 months in jail.
Driving was AppropriateDriving was Proper The law uses the word, "proper" to describe what is considered appropriate. What do the courts consider proper driving? In general, there is no duty upon a driver to maintain 100% complete control. Rather, suitability of the driving behavior is the question.
Defect Unknown to DriverDefect What if there is a problem with the vehicle, such as a mechanical defect? Should a driver who crashes his or her vehicle be penalized? It may depend on the categorization of the defect: was it a known defect, or was the driver completely unaware? It is important to understand the difference between a criminal case and a civil case. A criminal case is a reckless driving prosecution in this context. If someone else is injured in the accident, the criminal case may precede a civil lawsuit for monetary damages. Therefore, it is very important to seek counsel as soon as possible following a criminal reckless driving charge due to failure to maintain control or inadequate brakes.
CorroborationCorroboration "Corroboration" is evidence supporting the driver's testimony. In cases without witnesses (for example, an accident takes place and the police officer arrives after he or she is notified by dispatch). Sometimes, witnesses may be passengers of the driver's vehicle. In other cases, there may be bystanders or other drivers available to testify. Few drivers in Virginia use dashboard cameras to record their operation of the motor vehicle on a regular basis, but if such footage exists, it may be invaluable. If the officer is not an eye-witness, then the case may hinge on statements made by witnesses as well as admissions by the accused. Every case is factually unique, and any good reckless driving attorney will explore the various sources of testimony in a particular case.