Reckless Driving Virginia Double Jeopardy Lawyers Norton City

Reckless Driving Virginia Double Jeopardy Lawyers Norton City

Commonwealth v. Charles
Facts:

Defendant appealed his conviction from the Court of City of Norton (Virginia) for unlawfully operating a motor vehicle in a reckless manner after he pulled his taxicab away from a curb, crossing three lanes of traffic.

Reckless Driving Virginia Double Jeopardy Lawyers Norton City

Reckless Driving Virginia Double Jeopardy Lawyers

Issue:
  • Whether the Defendant was put in double jeopardy for the same offense?
Discussion:

Defendant dropped off a passenger in his taxicab alongside a curb. Defendant then pulled his taxicab away from the curb, crossing three lanes of traffic diagonally. A police officer had to apply his brakes violently to avoid a collision with the taxicab. Defendant was charged with unlawfully failing to yield the right of way. The traffic court convicted defendant, but defendant appealed to the trial court. Before a judgment was entered, the state filed a plea of nolle prosequi. Then, defendant was charged with unlawfully operating a motor vehicle in a reckless manner. Defendant filed a plea in bar, alleging a double jeopardy violation based on Va. Const. § 8. The trial court reserved its ruling. A jury found defendant guilty. Defendant filed a motion to set aside the verdict. The trial court denied the motion. The court affirmed on appeal, holding that defendant was not put twice in jeopardy for the same offense when he was prosecuted for the separate and distinct offense of reckless driving. The court reasoned that a single occurrence constituted two distinct offenses for which defendant was prosecuted. Also, the trial court did not err in refusing to set aside the jury’s verdict. The court affirmed defendant’s conviction for unlawfully operating a motor vehicle in a reckless manner.

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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.