After an accident caused by a deer, you may be surprised to find yourself with a reckless driving ticket. However, you have several options available to fight the charge.
Single Vehicle Deer Accidents
Virginia generally requires law enforcement officers to ticket drivers involved in a single vehicle accident. Since there aren't many types of charges that fit this situation, drivers most often end up with a reckless driving ticket.
If you were involved in a single vehicle deer accident caused because you swerved or lost control after a deer ran into the road, you'll need an attorney who can present the facts in a favorable light. Even if there's no evidence to prove there was a deer in your path before the accident occurred, judges have discretion in deciding how to handle these types of cases. If the area is a noted spot for deer sightings and you have a safe previous driving record, there's a very good chance you'll be able to get the charge reduced or dropped. If you hit the deer, you'll be less likely to be charged with reckless driving simply due to the readily visible proof that the accident was caused by an act of nature.
Multiple Vehicle Deer Accidents
When there are two or more cars involved in the accident, you'll likely have witness testimony to verify that there was a deer in the area even if you didn't actually hit the animal. Whether or not you're convicted of reckless driving will depend on if you were obeying all other traffic laws at the time of the accident. Although you can't be held at fault for an act of nature, you can be held responsible if you were speeding, texting while driving, or otherwise acting in an unsafe manner.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
A reckless driving charge is different from a simple traffic violation. It's considered a criminal charge under Virginia law, leaving you with fines, the possibility of jail time, and the stigma of a criminal record if you're convicted. There's no reason to accept these harsh consequences as punishment for a deer accident. To learn more, call today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review with Virginia reckless driving attorney Charles V. Hardenbergh.