Under Virginia law, failing to signal a turn can result in a reckless driving charge even if you weren't breaking any other traffic laws at the time. Even though the majority of reckless driving charges involve someone who was speeding, reckless driving encompasses any behavior that poses a potential safety hazard to other motorists. If you’re charged with reckless driving, retaining experienced legal representation can help minimize the penalties.
Reckless Driving Citations for Failing to Signal a Turn
Technically, a law enforcement officer can issue a reckless driving ticket whenever you neglect to provide “adequate and timely signals of intention to turn, partly turn, slow down, or stop.” In practice, however, this type of citation is relatively rare. Drivers are most likely to be cited with reckless driving when they're speeding or breaking other traffic laws.
If your failure to signal a turn causes an accident, this increases the risk that you'll be charged with reckless driving. Virginia law requires officers to issue a citation after any accident causing injury or property damage, even when you're the only person involved.
Building a Defense
Failing to signal a turn is most often a result of distracted driving. You might be thinking about the items on your to-do list, trying to decide where to stop for lunch, tending to a child in the backseat, or wondering if you'll make it to your next appointment on time. You may have a made a very human mistake, but this doesn't mean you deserve to be charged with reckless driving. Since reckless driving is a criminal charge and not a simple traffic offense, you'll face hefty fines as well as the possibility of jail time and the stigma of a criminal record if you're convicted.
If you receive a reckless driving ticket for failing to signal a turn, Virginia attorney Charles V. Hardenbergh can help investigate every potential avenue of defense to have the charge reduced or dropped. This may include options such as community service or completing a driver improvement program. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.