You Can Land in Serious Trouble if You Don't Yield the Right-of-Way to an Emergency Vehicle in Virginia

Police, fire, and emergency personnel in the state of Virginia don't look kindly on drivers who hamper their right-of-way. If you are charged with hindering an emergency vehicle, you can potentially also be charged with reckless driving, a conviction which can result in jail time, heavy fines, and even the loss of your license. That's why, if you're in this situation, you need the expert representation of an experienced traffic lawyer from Jarrell, Hicks &Waldman, PC.

Not Yielding the Right of Way to an Emergency Vehicle is a Serious Offense

If you're a law-abiding driver, nothing provokes more anxiety than cruising along on the highway, glancing in your rear-view mirror, and seeing two or three police cars, sirens blaring, gaining on you quickly. Your first instinct is that you've done something wrong; your second, and correct, instinct is that they're actually after someone else and you had better get out of the way, fast. If you don't, you may be cited for reckless driving (either on the scene or later, via a mailed ticket), a conviction for which can entail:

  • Up to a year in jail
  • Six points added to your driving record
  • Thousands of dollars in fines
  • Potential suspension or revocation of your license

Emergency workers know—or should know—that not everyone has the razor-sharp reflexes necessary to quickly and smoothly slow down, change lanes, or perform some other traffic maneuver to let an emergency vehicle pass. A certain amount of confusion is normal and understandable; what will get you into trouble is if you flagrantly, negligently, or maliciously get in the way of an emergency-vehicle response.

Unfortunately, what constitutes simple confusion, and what constitutes active negligence, is entirely in the eyes of the law. If an EMT worker is in a particularly bad mood that day, he may report your license number to police headquarters, and a few weeks later you'll receive a ticket by mail. Likewise, in the heat of the moment, police may be unable to distinguish between a slow response and a stubborn refusal to yield the right of way.

A Charge of Hindering an Emergency Vehicle Requires Expert Representation

If you were charged with failing to yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle, you need to hire an experienced lawyer right away, who can argue to a judge or district attorney that your actions were not the result of negligence or malice but simple confusion or inexperience. Call the law firm of Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC today for a free consultation!