It's considered your responsibility to keep your vehicle properly maintained, which means that you can be charged with reckless driving if your brakes fail and you put others in danger as a result.
§ 46.2-853 Driving Vehicle Which Is Not Under Control; Faulty Brakes
Section 46.2-853 of the Virginia code reads, "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."
One of the most common problems associated with this charge is that the driver may not actually realize the offense he is facing. Officers often write "failure to maintain control" or "faulty brakes" on the ticket, which can be misleading if you're not familiar with the terms of the reckless driving code. To figure out what offense you've been charged with, refer to the numerical code citation, or call the clerk of court for clarification.
How an Attorney Can Help
In most cases, drivers who put off brake maintenance are doing so for financial reasons. They often have the best intentions when it comes to vehicle maintenance, but they may struggle to find the extra funds to pay a mechanic or mistakenly believe they can push the maintenance off another week or two to take care of other obligations.
If you're struggling financially, you may be reluctant to hire an attorney. However, it's important to realize that legal assistance is an investment in your future. Reckless driving is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is a criminal offense. If you're convicted, you'll face a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, and a suspended license. When you get your license back, the six demerit points on your driving record will raise your insurance premiums, and the stigma of a criminal record may affect your ability to secure employment, further your education, rent an apartment, or join the military.
Virginia attorney Charles V. Hardenbergh is dedicated to helping drivers build an aggressive defense for reckless driving charges. Call today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss options for reducing or dropping the charge.