Reckless Driving by Failure to Maintain Control: Consequences and Prevention Strategies

Discover how Scrofano Law PC – VA Criminal Lawyers can assist you with the complexities of defending against charges of Reckless Driving by Failure to Maintain Control in Virginia.

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Reckless driving by failure to maintain control is a driving behavior that can quickly escalate into a serious and punishable offense. 

Driving is about following the rules and the ongoing responsibility to keep your vehicle under proper control to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. The lines between a momentary lapse in focus and a reckless driving charge can be perilously thin in Virginia. Unexpected road conditions, distractions, or even overconfidence in one’s driving abilities can lead to dire legal consequences.

Did you know, for example, that many reckless driving cases stem from a failure to maintain proper vehicle control? This may involve anything from excessive speed to faulty brakes or even a moment’s inattention. 

Legal excuses in such scenarios are few and far between, as the law requires drivers to always exercise due diligence behind the wheel.

We at Scrofano Law PC understand the gravity of a reckless driving charge and have extensive experience defending those accused of traffic offenses in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We aim to navigate the complexities of such cases and offer a comprehensive guide for those facing these charges. 

Suppose you’re facing accusations of reckless driving because you failed to maintain control. In that case, we invite you to schedule a consultation today to learn more about how we can assist you. 

Understanding Reckless Driving by Failure to Maintain Control

Is it mere bad luck when a vehicle swerves off the road or is improper driving to blame? 

At the heart of many Virginia reckless driving cases is the critical concept of maintaining proper control of a vehicle. When a driver loses control, it sparks serious legal consequences, for such an action implies a disregard for safety.

In Virginia, reckless driving by failure to maintain control is explicitly delineated in the state’s legal framework. More explicitly, The Code of Virginia, in Chapter 8, Article 7, states, “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.” 

But why does one lose control? The reasons can range from driver distraction to adverse weather conditions. 

However, for charges to stick, the law requires the absence of a legal excuse, such as a sudden vehicle malfunction. In other words, there’s no room for reasonable doubt that the driver failed to operate the vehicle as a reasonably prudent person would.

Factors that may lead to losing control:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Over-correcting
  • Failure to adapt to road conditions

These actions suggest a driver was not using their vehicle in a manner consistent with the laws’ expectations for maintaining control charges. It is not only about how one drives but also about ensuring the vehicle is maintained correctly. A malfunction that causes one to lose control could defend against these charges if the driver was unaware of the defect and had no reason to be aware of it.

Our skilled attorneys are aware of the potential penalties people might face following a reckless driving case: steep fines, possible jail time, and driver’s license suspension.

This underlines the gravity of driving responsibly and adhering to the standards set forth, which are designed to protect us all on the road.

Common Causes and Examples

The moment your vehicle veers off course can be startling. Often, reckless driving caused by failure to maintain control is due to mechanical issues, such as faulty brakes. According to a survey by the US Department of Transportation, which included data on 44,000 crashes, 22% were brake-related. So, ensuring your vehicle’s brake pads function properly is crucial to maintaining proper driving control.

In Virginia, the laws regarding maintaining vehicle control are stringent. For instance, if brake pads wear thin or the braking system hasn’t been regularly checked, the ability to stop the car promptly is compromised. This is not only dangerous but can lead to legal consequences. The Code of Virginia’s § 46.2-853 states, “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.”

Reckless driving, which involves failure to maintain control, can also stem from external conditions such as inclement weather. The negligence lies in people not adapting their driving style to the road conditions. For example, on a wet and slippery road, a car with worn tire treads can easily skid or hydroplane. So, drivers are required to consider the full spectrum of driving behaviors and vehicle states. 

Driving too fast can also be considered reckless driving. The Code of Virginia’s § 46.2-861 says, “A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who exceeds a reasonable speed under the circumstances and traffic conditions existing at the time, regardless of any posted speed limit.” 

So, from a car with improper brakes that the driver failed to fix to a sudden swerve to avoid an unforeseen obstacle, each scenario demands our attention to detail. Maintaining control is often in our hands, and as we navigate Virginia’s roads, it’s important for people to remember the responsibility of driving a vehicle.

Legal Penalties and Consequences

Could you imagine the ripple effects of a moment’s lapse on the road? It often begins with a reckless driving ticket, but people can feel the aftershocks for years.

When charged with reckless driving by failure to maintain control, you’re facing more than just a slap on the wrist. According to The Virginia Code, reckless driving can be a misdemeanor or a felony. This charge is commonly issued after an accident report indicates a lack of vehicle control. Those convicted of reckless driving shall pay a minimum fine of $250. 

Jail time is also a stark reality, and it’s not unusual for sentences to reach up to a year for this misdemeanor. For example, suppose the person found guilty of reckless driving injured or killed another person. In that case, they’re “guilty of a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than one nor more than 20 years,” as noted in the code on § 46.2-865.1.

Let’s break down the consequences:

  • Fines: Monetary penalties vary widely but can be substantial, stretching into thousands of dollars.
  • License Suspension: Your driving privileges can be temporarily revoked, dramatically affecting daily life.
  • Driving Record: Points added to your driving record may seem like mere numbers, but their implications are far-reaching.
  • Insurance Rates: A blemish on your driving history often translates to higher insurance premiums.
  • Imprisonment: If you injure or kill another person, then you can face up to twenty years in jail. 
  • CDL: If you hold a commercial driver’s license, the stakes are even higher, as your livelihood could be at risk.

Remember, each scenario is unique, and various factors, such as prior offenses, can heavily influence the outcome of your trial date. 

How to Defend Against These Charges

When facing charges for reckless driving by failure to maintain control, time is of the essence.

At Scrofano Law PC, we’re prepared to examine the circumstances of the alleged incident, questioning whether there was truly a loss of control and whether it could be attributed to the person charged. In some cases, external factors such as adverse highway conditions may play a role, shifting the responsibility away from the defendant.

Challenging the officer’s evidence is another effective strategy. Our skilled attorneys might scrutinize the details to ascertain whether the accusation is based on objective facts or subjective interpretations. This often involves delving into the technicalities of what constitutes “control” in the eyes of the law.

If feasible, we can strive to prove a mechanical fault in the car that led to the incident, thus removing the fault element from your side. Additionally, we may point to your driving record to bolster the argument that you typically exercise due care and control.

Hiring a Virginia traffic lawyer can make a tremendous difference in defense cases involving reckless driving. Seasoned attorneys can navigate the complexities of traffic law, advocate on your behalf, and aim to reduce or dismiss the charges. Their understanding of the law and ability to work with the evidence can make a daunting situation manageable. 

Consult Our Virginia Criminal Defense Attorneys Today

Facing a conviction for reckless driving by failure to maintain control can be daunting. If you’ve been found guilty, the implications can significantly impact your life. This is where having legal assistance becomes crucial. In Virginia, reckless driving is not a mere traffic infraction; it’s a severe offense under the Virginia Code.

Our skilled team understands the intricacies of the code that defines inadequate vehicle control as reckless driving

Each attorney at our firm is committed to constructing a robust defense strategy for every defendant. They’re ready to cross-examine other witnesses and scrutinize the alleged facts, always seeking the most favorable outcome for our clients. The law views the failure to maintain vehicular control as a potential hazard to public safety, and thus, the stakes are high for the driver involved.

By consulting with us, you’re not just gaining an attorney but a dedicated ally who will stand with you throughout the legal process. Our understanding of the Code of Virginia and our rigorous defense tactics can be the edge you need.

We invite you to schedule a consultation today. Allow us to evaluate your case, consider potential defenses, and guide you through Virginia’s traffic laws.


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Charles Graves

I hired Gretchen Taylor over 10 years ago, when I was very young and she successfully defended me from a false allegation.

Now I’m very successful in life, and I have to give Gretchen a ton of credit for her help! She is extremely honest, hardworking, kind, and sees the best in people. She believed in me, and she’s also a very good lawyer.

Through this process I grew up, and I learned that there are good and bad women, good and bad men, and that it’s important to be careful about who you associate with, or hang around or date, because even when you live your life with honesty and integrity, some people are simply trouble. Thanks to this, I’ve been happily married to my amazing wife for almost a decade now, and successful financially. Gretchen didn’t only win my case but she really had good wisdom for me too. She’s very knowledgeable about the law and doesn’t let the system take advantage of you.,

You won’t find a better lawyer, period!

Iracely Pinto

I just wanted to thank Mrs. Taylor for representing me at the Courthouse! She was great dealing with the people there and defended me well with professionalism, courage, and confidence. From the moment I spoke with her over the phone, I knew she was the right Attorney to represent me and defende me from an angry Police Officer who charged me with reckless driving and 2 others tickets. All was unfair and not true. She was just amazing at the Courtroom, and what was supposed to take hours, it just took less than 30 minutes. All the charges against me was dismissed and my record was clear. Thank you God for Mrs. Gretchen Taylor and for her help and for her great experience and dedication towards myself. I highly recommend Mrs. Taylor to anyone in need of a Lawyer.

Deb Obi

Gretchen was a joy to work with because of her wittiness and fast thinking. She was actually recommended to me by another Lawyer who admired the way she handled things in a courtroom they were both in.

Her advice, encouragement, and patience with me as she handled my case was admirable. She knows her stuff and I felt confident that she was able to get the best outcome for my case based on my interactions with her. Her fast thinking and knowledge of the law and procedures allowed for my case to be dismissed. She is fast on her feet, ready to fight for you while being poised.

If you are looking for someone who is going to listen to you, knows the law, willing to fight on your behalf and is empathetic while at it, please go with Gretchen. You will not regret it.

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