Va. Code § 46.2-853: Reckless by Improper Control/Faulty Brakes
Driving a vehicle that is not under proper control or has faulty brakes is considered reckless driving. Often, when an officer arrives on the scene of an accident, the driver will try to avoid responsibility by claiming that there was something wrong with the breaks or steering. The driver may be charged with reckless driving under 46.2-853.
However, case law indicates that a driver must have had notice that there was something wrong with the car before the accident. If something is wrong with the car and the driver ignores the danger and continues driving, it is reckless driving under 46.2-853. However, if a part of the car breaks and immediately causes an accident without any warning then there is a potential defense of reckless driving under 46.2-853.
Va. Code 46.2-853 Reckless Driving – Improper Control/Bad Brakes
“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.”
Penalties for Fairfax Reckless Driving with Faulty Brakes / Improper Control
- Class 1 misdemeanor (Criminal Conviction)
- 0 to 12 months in jail
- $0-$2,500 in fines
- 0-6 months loss of license
- 6 Va DMV demerit points
Defenses for Reckless Driving Faulty Brakes / Improper Control
There are two main ways we prevent conviction for reckless driving 46.2-853 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 evidence and argue that the prosecution cannot prove one of the following elements:
- That the driver knew the brakes (or any other defect) were faulty
- That the lose of control was from some negligence on the part of the driver.
- That the driving occurred on a pubic road.
For more information about reckless driving defenses, click here.
Some of the things we recommend drivers do, can include (click the links for more information):
- Taking a Driver Improvement Course
- Get an accident report (if there was an accident)
- Writing a brief biography about yourself
- Writing a detailed incident summary about yourself
- Getting a copy of your DMV record
Likely Lesser Offenses For Reckless Driving Improper Control / Faulty Brakes
In Fairfax, prosecutors will not negotiated with unrepresented defendants; however, your attorney might be able to get the reckless driving charge reduced from a criminal reckless driving charge to one of the following non-criminal traffic tickets:
- Improper Driving
- Failure to pay full time and attention
- Defective Equipment