Like most things in life, a reckless driving charge can more or less subjective. Evidence to support the prosecution’s claim of reckless driving will depend somewhat on the ability of the prosecution to produce witnesses. Even the most credible of witnesses may make errors in their recounting of events, or may mischaracterize your actions in a manner that greatly exaggerates the recklessness of your operation of a vehicle. It is vital that in cases where the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you recklessly operated a motor vehicle in a manner that endangered life, limb, or property of another individual, you will need a talented traffic attorney to call elements of the prosecution’s account of events into question. Below we have listed a few methods that traffic attorneys commonly use when attempting to mitigate penalties in Virginia traffic court.
Questioning Witness Testimony
If the prosecution’s case against you depends largely on the testimony of eyewitnesses you will need an experienced traffic attorney to call into question some elements of their stories. When multiple witnesses are called to testify in your case, their stories may conflict as people tend to remember things differently. Your attorney should look for opportunities to build doubt in each witness’s account of the events surrounding your charge.
Accuracy of Speedometer
If your automobile has not had a diagnostic check done recently, or is an older model, the speedometer may not function properly, and may not provide an accurate reading at the speed you are alleged to have been travelling. You will need to have your speedometer checked by a licensed mechanic at the speed you are charged with driving to ensure that the speedometer output is accurate. If you speedometer produces an inaccurate reading, you may be able to have your charges dropped or reduced with the help of a talented traffic attorney.
Establishing the Identity of the Driver
A large burden placed on the prosecution will be in proving, without a doubt, that you were in fact driving the vehicle when it was observed driving recklessly. If the prosecution is unable to prove the identity of the person driving the vehicle, the charges may be thrown out. The prosecution must prove that the reckless actions that caused the charges to be brought cannot be attributed to another individual in your automobile, or another nearby driver.
In the Case of an Emergency
If your reckless driving was caused as a result of responding to a legitimate emergency, such as a medical or life-threatening event, your reckless driving may be justified and your charges could potentially be dropped. The legal system does make exceptions when speeding is necessary to save a life, however, what you deem an emergency may not satisfy a court of law.
Speeding or Reckless Charges Based on Radar
If your reckless driving charge is based on a reading obtained from a police radar gun or laser device (LIDAR), the device is required to be calibrated every six months. If the device used to determine you were speeding has not been calibrated recently, or the officer using the device has not maintained the necessary records that the device has been calibrated, you charges may be illegitimate and could be dropped.
Speeding or Reckless Driving Charges Based on Pacing
“Pacing” is the practice of a police officer determining a vehicle’s speed by driving behind it and keeping pace, then reading the speedometer of their own vehicle to determine the suspect’s speed. Using this method to determine speed in a reckless driving case is fraught with a number of potentially arguable aspects. Traffic, the route being driven on, and environmental factors can greatly affect the ability of pacing to generate an accurate estimate of your speed. Also, if a police officer’s speedometer has not been calibrated recently, the reading may also be inaccurate.
Contact A Professional Fairfax Traffic Attorney
If you or someone you know is looking to generate a strong defense against a possible reckless driving conviction in Virginia, you will need a skilled traffic attorney. Wilfred Ward Yeargan has years of experience formulating effective defenses against reckless driving charges. Contact Fairfax traffic attorney, Wilfred Ward Yeargan who will fight to have your charges reduced or dismissed. Reach out today by phone or online to review the details of your case.