If accused of reckless driving in Loudoun County it’s important you take this charge seriously and build the strongest defense possible. To discuss building a defense for your charge call today and schedule a free consultation.
Loudoun County treats reckless driving with similar fervor as other jurisdictions within Virginia. However, Loudoun County is quite hard on reckless driving cases involving alcohol, and cases involving serious accidents from which serious injuries occur, as well as reckless driving cases where the speed is in excess of 90 miles an hour. In these cases, you can expect the prosecutor and the judge to be very tough and you should come in prepared with an experienced defense attorney to advocate for you.
The prosecution in a reckless driving case needs to prove all the elements of this specific reckless driving code section beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the same standard as with any criminal offense in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The specific elements will vary depending on which reckless driving code section you’re being charged under.
The defense strategy in reckless driving cases depends on the nature of the offense. In speeding cases, we are going to want to check out how the officer can lay the foundation for the speed determination. I want to check the certificates (including speedometer calibrations and tuning fork readings), discuss what traffic was like, the officer’s recollection of the day of your offense, and how exactly he or she determined the speed. In accident cases, I want to recreate the scene as best as possible with my client and determine what evidence the Commonwealth may actually seek to introduce.
In the case of other driving behavior, I’m going to want to investigate the case for potential other witnesses and potential mitigation of the offense. For example, in a reckless driving by passing a school bus case, there will be many case-specific questions. Did the offense occur during school hours? What was the road like in the area of the offense? What was the traffic like? Was there a clear line of sight? Were children being loaded or unloaded and who can testify as to this? All these things could potentially be useful in building a defense for my client.
Going with the flow of traffic is probably the most common excuse that reckless driving attorneys hear, not only from potential clients, but also from people in court in front of the judge. People seem to think if they were speeding because everyone else on the road was speeding as well, then it’s suddenly okay to break the law. The reality is that everybody else breaking the law does not excuse you from complying with the law. There must be some other situation present, like an emergency that required the driver to go with the flow of traffic in order to avoid a collision, for this excuse to have any weight at all.
The best advantage to having a local counsel is that I appear in this court regularly. I know all the judges, the prosecutors, and many of the law enforcement officials. Therefore, they know to expect a certain level of professionalism and a certain level of preparation from me and I do the same for them. I will know and be able to advise my clients if any plea agreements that are being offered are fair, if it’s consistent with what a judge may do if they took the case to trial, and what the advantages and disadvantages of proceeding in different ways may be.
Another advantage to having local counsel is that my relationships are such that the prosecutors know that my clients will be prepared and they can trust that I would advise them properly of the seriousness of the offense. In addition, they know if I make motions they will be well crafted and thought out. They know I’m not there to waste their time or the court’s time and that I advocate zealously for my clients and that works well in my negotiations.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law