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When does illegal passing result in a reckless driving charge?

illegal-passing-as-reckless-drivingWhen you're running late or in a hurry to arrive at your destination, getting behind a slow-moving driver is immensely frustrating. However, making the decision to pass illegally could result in a reckless driving charge.

Illegal Passing as a Form of Reckless Driving

Illegal passing can be classified as reckless driving if your conduct indicates a blatant disregard for the safety of others. Illegal passing is considered reckless driving in the following circumstances:

  • You passed at a railroad crossing.
  • You passed at a highway intersection.
  • You passed on the crest of a hill or slope.
  • You passed as you were approaching a curve in the road.
  • The vehicle you passed was a stopped school bus.
  • The vehicle you passed was an emergency vehicle.
  • There were pedestrians present.
  • You attempted to pass two or more vehicles at the same time.

All of these scenarios are particularly dangerous because they increase your odds of being involved in an accident that injures yourself and/or others.

Defending Against a Reckless Driving Charge

You may be able to have your charge reduced if you have a previous clean driving record and can provide character references. Attending a driver improvement clinic or completing community service can also be a way to demonstrate remorse for your actions.

Improperly marked roadways, poor weather conditions, or a medical emergency may be used as mitigating factors.

Protecting Your Rights by Hiring a Reckless Driving Attorney

A reckless driving charge carries stiff penalties, including fines and the possibility of jail time. The charge gives you six demerit points on your driving record and remains visible for 11 years, resulting in substantially higher auto insurance rates. Drivers are also left with the stigma of a criminal record, creating difficulty in securing future employment opportunities.

To protect yourself, you'll want to work with a skilled attorney to build the strongest possible defense. T. Kevin Wilson has extensive experience working with Virginia drivers to reduce or drop reckless driving charges.  Please call today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.

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