Fatal Accidents

Reckless Driving Resulting in Death or Serious Injury

If reckless driving results in a death or serious injury it doesn’t take a lawyer to know its serious. But the law allows for special penalty enhancements in certain situations.

Va. Code § 46.2-868. Reckless Driving  While Suspended Resulting in Death.
“B. Every person convicted of reckless driving under the provisions of this article who, when he committed the offense, (i) was driving without a valid operator’s license due to a suspension or revocation for a moving violation and, (ii) as the sole and proximate result of his reckless driving, caused the death of another, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.”
Penalties for Fatal Reckless Driving While Suspended
  • Class 6 Felony(Criminal Conviction)
  • 0 to 5 years in prison
  • $0-$2,500 in fines
  • 0-12 months loss of license
  • 6 Va DMV demerit points
§ 46.2396. Suspension of license for reckless driving resulting in death of any person
“When any person is convicted of reckless driving as provided for in §§ 46.2-853 through 46.2-864 and the reckless driving was the cause of the death of any person, then in addition to any other penalties provided by law, the driver’s license of the person may be suspended by the court for no more than twelve months. In case of conviction the court may order the surrender of the license to the court where it shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of § 46.2-398. If the person so convicted has not obtained a license required by this chapter or is a nonresident, the court may direct in the judgment of conviction that the person shall not drive any motor vehicle in the Commonwealth for a period not to exceed twelve months. The fact of the suspension shall not be admissible as evidence in any related civil proceeding.”
Penalties for Fatal Reckless Driving (Not Racing /Not with a Suspension)
  • Class 1 misdemeanor (Criminal Conviction)
  • 0 to 12 months in jail
  • $0-$2,500 in fines
  • 0-12 months loss of license
  • 6 Va DMV demerit points
Va. Code 46.2-865.1 Injuring another or causing the death of another while engaging in a race; penalties
“A. Any person who, while engaging in a race in violation of § 46.2-865 in a manner so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life:
1. Causes serious bodily injury to another person who is not involved in the violation of § 46.2-865 is guilty of a Class 6 felony; or
2. Causes the death of another person is guilty of a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than one nor more than 20 years, one year of which shall be a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment.
B. Upon conviction, the court shall suspend the driver’s license of such person for a period of not less than one year nor more than three years, and shall order the surrender of the license to be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of § 46.2-398.”
Penalties for Fairfax Reckless Driving -Racing (with Injury)
  • Class 6 felony (Criminal Conviction)
  • 0 to 5 years in prison
  • $0-$2,500 in fines
  • 1 to 3 year loss of license
  • 6 Va DMV demerit points
Penalties for Fairfax Reckless Driving -Racing (with Death)
  • Class 6 felony (Criminal Conviction)
  • 1 to 20 years in prison
  • $0-$2,500 in fines
  • 1 to 3 year loss of license
  • 6 Va DMV demerit points
Defenses for Fatal Reckless Driving

There are two main ways we prevent conviction for reckless driving with an impaired view in Fairfax:

1) We attack the culpability. We try to show reasons why the driver does not deserve these harsh punishments and ask the court to reduce the charge to a less sever traffic ticket.

2) We attack the accuracy and admissibility of the police officer’s accusations. One of the hard things to prove is that the reckless driving caused the death. Often, when there is an auto accident it can be hard to say that this action caused the death as opposed to simply contributing to it.

For example. If a driver is traveling 85 mph (reckless driving) and he hits another driver going 55 mph head on. It can be difficult to say beyond a reasonable doubt that the person would still be alive if the reckless driver had been traveling 74 mph. Proving that the reckless driving caused the death can be difficult.

For more information about reckless driving defenses, click here.

How to Prepare for a Fatal Reckless Driving Trial

Some of the things we recommend drivers do, can include (click the links for more information):

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