Reckless Driving Bedford Virginia Lawyer Signal Lane Change

Reckless Driving Bedford Virginia Lawyer Signal Lane Change

Commonwealth v. Mitchell
Facts:

Defendant, after falling to engage his turn signal for a lane change, evaded the police. The chase led from a point more than one mile inside the city to a location more than one mile into an adjoining county. The city convicted him of reckless driving. The county convicted him of driving while intoxicated, but dismissed the reckless driving charge. Defendant challenged the decision of the Circuit Court of Bedford County (Virginia), which convicted him of reckless driving based upon the same act from an earlier conviction for reckless driving.

Reckless Driving Bedford Virginia Lawyer Signal Lane Change

Reckless Driving Bedford Virginia Lawyer

Issue:

Whether Defendant’s earlier city conviction barred prosecution of the driving while intoxicated charge because it grew out of the same act, that is, the high-speed chase?

Discussion:

The court reversed, holding that the same act meant the same act of driving and contemplated a continuous, uninterrupted course of operation of a motor vehicle, without regard to the crossing of the boundary line between two localities. From the moment the police first observed defendant until finally apprehended, defendant engaged in a continuous, uninterrupted course of driving. The charges against him, therefore, grew out of the same act or acts within the meaning of Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-294.1. Hence, the earlier city conviction of reckless driving required the dismissal of the latter driving while intoxicated charge

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Article written by A Sris

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Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.