Cruise Control Is Not a Defense for a Reckless Driving Charge in Virginia

If a police officer pulls you over in Virginia and issues you a citation for reckless driving, it is important to recognize that this is more serious than a minor traffic infraction. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor in Virginia, and a conviction will result in a permanent criminal record. So, it’s important to present any defense you can in court. However, one defense that probably will not work is that your cruise control was set to a lower speed.  Cruise control as a defense for reckless driving

Cruise Control as a Defense for a Reckless Driving Charge

Cruise control is a feature on many vehicles that allows the driver to set the speed he wants to travel at. If you received a reckless driving ticket, you may think you can use your cruise control speed as a defense—claiming that your speed was set to a lower speed than the police officer claims you were traveling at. However, here’s why this defense will probably not work:

  • Even if your cruise control was on and set below or at the speed limit, you would not be able to prove that you were traveling at that speed when the officer used his laser to clock your speed. For example, you could have briefly accelerated to pass another vehicle when your speed was calculated. Even if you immediately went back to the speed set by cruise control, you may have engaged in reckless driving for a few moments, and that is sufficient for the officer to issue a ticket.
  • Using cruise control doesn’t absolve you from responsibility for the speed of your car. Under Virginia law, you are required to maintain control of your vehicle at all times, and you can receive a ticket for whatever you do behind the wheel.

If you received a citation for reckless driving, using cruise control as a defense may not be helpful to your case. However, there are other defenses—even if you are guilty. Learn about our extensive experience successfully representing our clients charged with reckless driving. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can assist you.