The Commonwealth of Virginia Takes Distracted Driving Very Seriously
It’s vital to understand Virginia’s texting and driving laws. Distracted driving is a serious issue among many individuals across the country. According to the Washington Post, texting and driving is the primary factor in approximately 10 percent of fatal car crashes. Here at Harrison & Turk PC, we pride ourselves on educating our clients on the laws about texting and driving.
Our law firm will explain what the law prohibits, along with the penalties in Radford, VA, and the surrounding areas. In addition, Harrison & Turk PC will explain the rules behind talking on a handheld cell phone while driving. We want our clients in and around Radford, VA, to understand this law and stay safe on the roadways.
Understand the Cell Phone Laws in and Around Radford, VA
Laws in Radford, VA, and the surrounding areas prohibit drivers from sending or reading a text message or email while driving. This law applies whenever you’re driving on a public road. However, if you are “legally parked or stopped,” you can check your phone. If you habitually check your phone when you’re stopped, though, you may tend to check it while moving. Drivers could end up receiving a citation for this offense.
As of January 2019, drivers can use their phones for GPS or music. The law does not prohibit individuals from using their phones to stream music or read directions on their phones. Newer drivers especially must understand what distracted driving laws are in and around Radford, VA. At Harrison & Turk PC, we are here to help motorists stay safe on roadways in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Texting and Driving Carries Harsh Penalties
In Radford, VA, and the surrounding areas, first-time offenders will receive a $125 fine for texting and driving. Subsequent offenses will result in a $200 fine. While jurisdictions can impose these hefty fines, drivers can face additional punishment in some limited cases.
If police officers believe that an individual is creating a hazard while texting, they could face a reckless driving charge. Unfortunately, some cases in which overzealous prosecutors bring a reckless driving charge to an inappropriate case exist today. Contact an experienced attorney today if you have been charged with reckless driving for texting.
Virginia Does Have an Exception to Using a Phone While Driving
Drivers in the Commonwealth of Virginia can still talk on a handheld cell phone while driving. In March 2018, the Virginia Senate voted in favor of a bill requiring all drivers to use “hands-free” cell phones. However, the Virginia House of Delegates declined to take up the measure.
As of 2019, drivers in Radford, VA, and the surrounding areas can use handheld cell phones for mobile calls. However, it is likely that this bill will garner some further attention in the near future. We recommend that drivers check in on a yearly basis to refresh their memory on driving laws. Doing so can help you stay safe on the roadways, and we want all of our clients to do that.
The Commonwealth Has the Burden of Proof in Each Case
Just like other traffic offenses, the Commonwealth has the burden of proof in determining guilt. If a cop incorrectly pulls you over for distracted driving, ask to speak to an attorney. After all, police officers are human, too, and they can make mistakes. Virginia must prove the following to hold you responsible for committing this crime:
- Drivers were operating a motor vehicle on a public road.
- Individuals sent or read a text message or similar message while behind the wheel.
If the state cannot prove this, they must dismiss the ticket. It’s also important to remember that police officers cannot demand that you surrender your cell phone to see any messages. Texting and driving is a risky situation that can cause significant stress, if convicted. You need the help of an experienced attorney to manage this process. If you have recently gotten a traffic citation for distracted driving, you need an experienced attorney by your side.
Harrison & Turk PC’s Criminal Law Attorneys Will Fight for Your Rights.
Our knowledgeable attorneys have helped clients in and around Radford, VA, to fight traffic offenses. The lawyers at Harrison & Turk PC have experienced all of the unique and different aspects of traffic offenses. Texting and driving citations are a major inconvenience for many people. Let Harrison & Turk PC help you manage them properly.
Since our inception, clients have trusted Harrison & Turk PC with fighting their traffic offenses. Our experienced attorneys will help you present a solid defense to the judge to prove your innocence. We pride ourselves on serving our clients in the best way possible. For more information about our criminal law services, contact our law firm today.
For more information about texting and driving laws, call Harrison & Turk PC at (540) 639-9056, or email our attorneys. Stay up-to-date with the latest news and information on our Facebook page. For more than 70 years, residents of Radford, VA, and the surrounding areas have trusted Harrison & Turk PC for all of their legal needs. We have a tradition of excellence, and our attorneys are proud to educate you about texting and driving laws.