Defense Strategies in Newport News Reckless Driving Cases
In Newport News reckless driving cases, prosecutors do not handle the charges at all. Instead, it will likely be the police officer who will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver charged with the offense actually committed the offense. That’s why it’s important to retain an experienced reckless driving attorney in Newport News to advocate for your rights.
If it was speed related for example, the officer must demonstrate either of these two things:
- The driver was driving over 80 miles per hour
- He/she was driving 20 miles per hour over the speed limit
An experienced attorney can be present at this point to make sure that the police officer follows all the correct procedure and explain the protocols he went through accurately, which can get pretty complicated as it is very specific in terms of what is required in equipment and in a calibration certificate.
In other types of reckless driving, say by accident, the officer has to prove still beyond reasonable doubt that the driver was guilty of behaving in whatever reckless manner that the officer is charging him with, which in an accident would be that the driver was driving in a manner to endanger life, limb, or property.
Evidence in Newport News Reckless Driving Cases
In Newport News reckless driving cases, the evidence generally will primarily consist of the officer’s testimony of the events in question. Sometimes there will be more evidence such as:
- Witnesses that were also in the car or witnessed the event
- If there was an accident and there was more time on the scene, sometimes there will be photographic evidence or photos of the car or damages
- The most relevant evidence really is the officer’s testimony in these cases.
There is not a lot of great lengths taken in obtaining evidences for reckless driving and the judge heavily relies on what the officer says.
Common Reckless Driving Defense Strategies
For fighting reckless driving cases, there are a variety of strategies that can be employed.
Accuracy of Speed-Reading Instruments
One of the most common defense strategies is in cases regarding reckless driving by speed; the attorney can question officer’s testimony regarding how the officer determined the driver’s speed. The officer has a variety of ways that he could have calculated the driver’s speed and each is ripe with its own set of possible mistakes.
An attorney could show that the method used by the officer was inaccurate or unreliable due to a variety of reasons such as:
- Lack of recent calibration
- Lack of proper training
- Lack of adequate maintenance
Common defenses are to attack the steps that the officer has demonstrated in court in an attempt to prove that the officer slipped somewhere and therefore the case should be dismissed on a technicality because the results of the officer’s testimony are not to be trusted.
If the officer did everything correctly and can prove this in court, another common defense is to present evidence that the defendant’s speedometer has not been properly calibrated and therefore the speed he was driving was not the accurate speed so the offense was not intentional and going forward he should be given a second chance. This only works for speeds that are very close to being charged as speeding.
Presence of Witnesses
Witnesses can sometimes testify as to different series of events than what the officer is claiming. In reckless driving cases, it is very uncommon to have witnesses at all, unless it is an accident in which case witnesses can be very helpful. Testimony tends to be one of the biggest pieces of evidence in reckless driving cases regardless of the type.