Did you know under Virginia law whenever a person is charged with both reckless driving along with a DUI from the same incident and is convicted of one, the court must then dismiss the remaining charge? This is an instance where it is extremely beneficial to have a Fairfax criminal defense attorney fighting for you.
We are able to catch and point out these issues, which may allow me to work on reducing the charges you are facing. The Virginia Court of Appeals upheld this specific part of Virginia code in a recent ruling.
In Lawson v. Commonwealth ruling published December 2012 (http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinions/opncavwp/2421113.pdf) , a driver faced both a reckless driving charge along with a DUI. After he was found guilty of reckless driving, he asked if his DUI could be dismissed. The prosecutor argued the law did not apply in this case because the charges were tried in different courts. The man pleaded guilty to the DUI charge. The court reversed the man’s driving while intoxicated, fourth offense conviction because it violated Code 18.2-266.
In the court’s ruling it stated, “we hold that the circuit court erred in denying appellant’s motion to dismiss the indictment charging him with driving while intoxicated, fourth or subsequent offense.”
They went on to write, “Under the plain and unambiguous terms of Code § 19.2-294.1, one may not be “charged” and “convicted” of both DUI and “reckless driving.” A conviction of either DUI or reckless driving, whether in simultaneous or successive prosecutions, requires dismissal of the other charge if the other charge arose from the same act or acts. “