Reckless Driving By Accident Charges

When a motor vehicle collision occurs, police come to the scene and may ticket or cite motorists responsible for causing the crash. In some cases, law enforcement determines a driver’s behavior went beyond merely failing to yield or another traffic violation. When a police officer decides someone was driving so dangerously he put others at risk, the motorist can face reckless driving by accident charges.

Reckless driving is a crime, and defendants who are cited for this offense need an experienced reckless driving attorney who can provide them with help trying to stay out of jail and keep their license.

Reckless Driving By Accident Charges

Virginia has several laws defining the crime of reckless driving:

  • Virginia Code Section 46.2-852 establishes the general rule that driving in a manner that endangers life, limb, or property is considered reckless driving. An accident endangers life, limb, and property, so it is not uncommon for someone to face reckless driving charges after involvement in a collision.
  • Code Section 46.2-853 indicates that a person who drives a vehicle not under his control, or with inadequate brakes, is guilty of reckless driving.
  • Code Section 46.2-854 extends the definition of reckless driving to include passing on a curve, passing on the crest of a grade, and passing when there is an obstructed view of oncoming traffic.
  • Code Section 46.2-855 declares it is reckless to drive when the vehicle is loaded in a way that obstructs the motorist’s view from the front or sides or when the driver’s control of the vehicle is impaired.
  • Code Section 46.2-856 indicates that passing two vehicles abreast going in the same direction is considered reckless driving unless the driver is on a three lane highway.
  • Code Section 46.2-857 expands the definition of reckless driving to include driving two abreast while in a lane designed for a single vehicle. This does not apply to motorcycles, motorcades, or other non-car vehicles like bicycles or electric mobility devices.
  • Code Section 46.2-858 makes passing at a railroad grade crossing or at an intersection of highways reckless driving, except in limited situations such as when the area is a designated passing zone.
  • Code Section 46.2-860 defines reckless driving to include failure to give adequate and timely signals of an intent to slow down, stop, partly turn, or turn.
  • Code Section 46.2-861 makes driving too fast for highway or traffic conditions a reckless driving offense.
  • Code Section 46.2-862 defines reckless driving to include exceeding the posted speed limit by 20 MPH or more, or going faster than 80 MPH regardless of what the posted speed limit is.
  • Code Section 46.2-863 includes failure to yield as a reckless driving offense. Drivers must yield when entering a highway from a side road with traffic approaching.
  • Code Section 46.2-864 addresses reckless driving in parking lots, as well as on the premises of churches, schools, businesses, recreational facilities, industrial facilities providing customer parking, and highways not yet open to the public. Driving recklessly and endangering life, limb, or property is not permitted in these areas.
  • Code Section 46.2-865 defines street racing as reckless driving and imposes an additional penalty for this offense.

After an accident, a law enforcement officer will interview witnesses, talk to the drivers, assess the conditions of the vehicles and the crash scene, and try to determine what the cause of a collision was. If the officer determines that any involved motorists violated any of these reckless driving laws, the motorist may be charged with the misdemeanor criminal offense of reckless driving and receive demerit points on their license.

Getting Help With Reckless Driving By Accident Charges

If you are charged with reckless driving after an accident, you should speak with an attorney who can help you to go to court to fight against a conviction. Talking to an experienced reckless driving attorney can be crucial to preserve crucial evidence related to your case and to start the process of developing a sound strategy to fighting the charge.