Failure to Maintain Control Defense Attorney in Virginia
In many motor vehicle accidents, a police officer will cite a motorist involved in the crash with failure to maintain control. In Virginia, failure to maintain control of one’s vehicle is considered a form of reckless driving, which is charged as a criminal offense. A reckless driving conviction can carry serious penalties, including jail time and hefty fines. This is in addition to personal and financial consequences such as having a criminal record or being subject to increases in your auto insurance premiums.
You may not even initially realize that you have been charged with failure to maintain control. If you were issued a traffic ticket, especially after a car crash, you need to speak to a Virginia failure to maintain control lawyer as soon as possible to understand your charges and to learn more about the potential consequences and outcomes. Contact us online or call Upton Law, PLLC today for a free case evaluation with Virginia traffic and criminal defense attorney Samantha Upton. She will discuss your charges and give you a straightforward explanation of how your case can be resolved.
Why You Need to Pay Close Attention to a Ticket for Failure to Maintain Control
Following a car crash, a police officer may hand you a citation. Although you may assume that the citation is just a normal traffic ticket, you should read it closely to determine what Virginia Code section you have been cited for violating. A traffic citation will always list the statute for the charged offense.
If you see on your ticket that you have been cited for violation of Virginia Code § 46.2-853, that means you have been charged with reckless driving – failure to maintain control. The statute reads:
“A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a vehicle which is not under proper control or which has inadequate or improperly adjusted brakes on any highway in the Commonwealth.”
Unlike many other traffic offenses, reckless driving in Virginia is considered a criminal misdemeanor offense. Although accepting guilt for most basic traffic offenses usually results only in the imposition of a fine and points on your driving record, accepting guilt for a charge of reckless driving can open you up to more serious penalties. If you find that you have been charged with failure to maintain control of your vehicle, you need to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Penalties for Failure to Maintain Control
Reckless driving – failure to maintain control is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. A conviction can result in a sentence that includes jail time of up to 12 months, along with a possible fine of up to $2,500. A conviction for reckless driving may also result in the confiscation of one’s driver’s license for a period of up to six months, or the suspension of driving privileges if the driving record points for a reckless driving conviction puts a driver over the demerit point limit for a suspension.
A reckless driving conviction will also result in a criminal record. So, the conviction can cause difficulties in one’s personal or professional life. This is especially true if you apply for or maintain employment where driving is required.
Defenses to Failure to Maintain Control
Just because a police officer cited you for failure to maintain control, it does not mean you will be automatically convicted of reckless driving. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, you may have defenses against your charge.
For example, if you were cited for failure to maintain control following an accident in Richmond, and the citing police officer did not witness the accident, the state may lack enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you failed to maintain proper control of the vehicle. The mere fact that you got into an accident may not provide sufficient evidence of guilt.
Other possible defenses against a failure to maintain control charge include:
- Unanticipated mechanical issues with your vehicle
- Design or manufacturing defects in your vehicle
- Road or traffic conditions that made the loss of control of your vehicle inevitable
However, the law requires that drivers maintain their vehicles in good working order. So, if you lose control of your vehicle due to a brake or tire problem caused by the failure to properly maintain your vehicle, you may still be held responsible for a failure to maintain control.
How a Virginia Failure to Maintain Control Lawyer Can Help You
When you have been charged with reckless driving – failure to maintain control, attorney Samantha Upton can help with your case by:
- Reviewing the underlying facts and circumstances to give you an honest assessment of what you are facing
- Helping you understand the possible outcomes to your charges based on your individual circumstances
- Ensuring you know what to expect throughout your case, including what steps you should be taking to help with your defense, or if you will need to appear in court
- Negotiating for a reduction of your charges to a less severe traffic infraction like improper driving, which can help you avoid the possibility of jail time or heavy fines
- Challenging the admissibility and sufficiency of the state’s evidence against you and fighting for dismissal of the charges when appropriate
Talk to a Virginia Failure to Maintain Control Attorney Now
If you have been cited or arrested for reckless driving due to a failure to maintain control of your vehicle, you need to talk to a Virginia traffic attorney about your legal rights and options. A conviction for reckless driving can have significant impacts on your driving record and your insurance rates and coverage.
Contact Upton Law, PLLC today for a free and confidential consultation to go over the details of your case. When you work with attorney Samantha Upton, you will be quoted a flat fee for your case upfront. So, you won’t have to worry about any surprise legal expenses no matter how much work needs to be done to resolve your case.