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Manassas Reckless Driving by Accident Charges

Reckless driving by accident can be caused by a number of different things, such as improper behavior. This could be related to speed, the manner in which the driver was operating the vehicle, illegal passing, or another action or inaction, such as failure to stop. Sometimes, reckless driving by accident charges are really just accidents, though, with neither driver at fault. Police will often charge the operator of the vehicle they believe to be the cause of the accident with a reckless driving by accident charge, however, if they feel that there is an issue needing citation, but that issue does not fit easily into any other traffic category. If you are facing reckless driving by accident charges, speaking with an experienced Manassas reckless driving attorney is recommended, as they will be able to provide advice on your case and determine the areas that can be argued in court.

What is Reckless Driving by Accident

In some accident situations, police officers will have a general suspicion that the accident occurred due to the manner in which the diver was operating their car. This is called reckless driving by accident, and is classified as driving in a manner that endangers life, limb, or property. In these instances, a general reckless driving ticket will be issued. Reckless driving by accident is the same level of reckless driving as all of the other ones. It’s still a criminal offense and a class 1 misdemeanor.

How this is Charged in Manassas

Reckless by accident is usually charged by police officers to the person they believe to be at fault in a collision. Usually this happens when the officer believes that someone needs to be issued a citation and there is no other traffic offense that fits that situation well. The driving may not actually have been reckless, but if there’s been property damage or someone was hurt as a result of the accident, then it’s likely that somebody will be charged with reckless driving in Manassas. Some police stations even have an office policy of charging somebody in an accident with a reckless, so often it’s not up completely to the officer’s discretion.

Reasons to Hire a Manassas Reckless Driving Attorney

This particular type of reckless driving is extremely defensible. It requires a pretty big assumption to be made by the officer unless he actually witnessed the behavior that caused the accident. Because the officer has to assume that the driving behavior was reckless and that’s why there was an accident, there’s a lot of room for strong cross- examination. An attorney can provide strong cross-examination of the police officer, which is absolutely crucial in these types of cases.

However, while it is defensible, it can be harder for a Manassas reckless driving attorney to defend a reckless by accident charge because these kinds of cases are a lot more subjective. With speeding, there’s a list of general defenses that are going to work or not work given the facts. Instead of being statutory, usually reckless driving by accident law comes from case law that a lawyer is going to be able to interpret much more easily than a layperson. It’s harder to defend yourself if you’re not a lawyer because you aren’t familiar with exactly what information needs to be proven by the officer and you’re not familiar with case law that can back up your position.

Legal Excuses for Being Involved in an Accident

The law recognizes that accidents happen without someone necessarily being at fault every time. Someone may be charged, but in the end there won’t be enough proof for a conviction. Just because there was a collision doesn’t necessarily mean that there was improper behavior that led to it. A collision could happen because there was something on the road the driver attempted to avoid, or it could happen because there was a mechanical defect with the vehicle that was unavoidable by the driver. These are ways that a driver would legally not be at fault and therefore would not be able to be found guilty.

How a Court Handles these Charges

If the accident was due to excessive speeding, then the manner will be similar. The difference comes in how the police officer is going to prove that it happened. The officer always has the burden of proving that the driver was behaving in a reckless manner. Since reckless driving by accident tends to be charged after whatever behavior the officer is alleging happened, it’s much more subjective than reckless by speed. The officer typically did not witness what happened and therefore he has to rely on other evidence such as witnesses or statements of the people who were directed involved. This type of evidence is never as strong as first-hand witnessing it by the officer. It’s more difficult to prove it in court.

Defending a Reckless Driving by Accident Case

In defending reckless driving by accident charges, it’s important to determine ultimately what caused the accident. Basically, defenses entail providing an explanation for the accident’s cause, other than that the driving behavior was reckless. If there was another person involved in a criminal case, you should expect that they will be subpoenaed to appear in court on the trial date.  Understanding proper cross examination for civilian witnesses during a reckless driving trial is a crucial skill for a Manassas reckless driving attorney.

Important Steps an Attorney will Take

It’s important for an attorney first of all to get all of the facts and determine if there is enough evidence to suggest that the driver was driving recklessly beyond just the occurrence of the accident. An attorney can explain the law and what exactly the officer needs to prove in court. With your attorney, you can work together to piece together the incident leading up to the accident and decide what the best approach will be in court. Your reckless driving attorney in Manassas can research the case law that’s similar to the circumstances surrounding your own collision and see if there are other cases that are going to be helpful in your situation.

How this Charge Affects a CDL

Reckless driving is considered a serious violation. For commercial driver’s licenses, two serious violations within three years typically leads to a 60-day disqualification of your commercial driver’s license. If you have three convictions in three years, this results in a 120-day disqualification. During the time in which somebody’s commercial driver’s license is disqualified, they’re not allowed to operate a commercial vehicle. You can face disqualification of your commercial driver’s license even if you were driving your own personal vehicle when you were charged with reckless driving. This is important to keep in mind if someone depends heavily on their commercial driver’s license. They could lose that, which would be a much more massive consequence than all of the other consequences that come with reckless driving convictions.