Reckless Driving Virginia Suspended License Collateral Estoppel Lawyers Charlottesville City

Reckless Driving Virginia Suspended License Collateral Estoppel Lawyers Charlottesville City

Villiam v. Commonwealth
Facts:

Appellant had been previously charged with operating an automobile under a suspended license and a jury acquitted him of the offense. The Commonwealth later learned appellant had told his first attorney that he had been driving the automobile. The Commonwealth charged appellant with perjury in violation of Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-434. Appellant was convicted and challenged the finding, arguing the doctrine of collateral estoppel precluded his prosecution. The court reversed the conviction and dismissed the case. Appellant challenged his conviction from the Circuit Court of the city of Charlottesville (Virginia) for perjury in violation of Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-434.

Reckless Driving Virginia Suspended License Collateral Estoppel Lawyers Charlottesville City

Reckless Driving Virginia Suspended License Collateral Estoppel Lawyers

Issue:
  • Whether appellant was in fact driving, an issue the jury had already decided?
Discussion:

The court held that the doctrine of collateral estoppels meant when an issue of ultimate fact had once been determined by a valid final judgment, that issue could not be relitigated between the same parties in a future lawsuit. The court found appellant had the burden of showing the verdict in the prior action necessarily decided the precise issue he sought to preclude. The court found for the Commonwealth to prove its case, it would have to had relitigated the issue of whether appellant was in fact driving, an issue the jury had already decided. Order reversed and case dismissed, because the doctrine of collateral estoppels precluded the appellant’s perjury prosecution because the Commonwealth would have had to prove the identical issue of whether appellant was driving under a suspended license and the jury had already acquitted him of the alleged offense.

The SRIS Law Group Virginia lawyers will do their best to help you with your traffic ticket. Contact a Virginia lawyer from our firm to discuss your traffic ticket. A Virginia lawyer from our firm will talk with you about your traffic ticket in Virginia and advise you about your options. You can count on a lawyer from our firm to try their best to help you obtain the best result possible based on the facts of your case.

We have client meeting locations in Fairfax County, Prince William, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Fredericksburg & Lynchburg.

Article written by A Sris

Click to Chat

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