Q: I was charged with failing to yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle, but I literally had nowhere to go. What should I do?

A: A driver often has limited options at his disposal when he glances in his rear-view mirror and sees a parade of ambulances, police cars, and fire trucks, sirens blaring and signals flashing. Ideally, he would get out of the way and let the vehicles pass, but there are situations in which attempting to do so can put his own life in peril.

Imagine that you're on a two-lane road with a 25 MPH speed limit, and a cavalcade of emergency vehicles are honking to get past. There's traffic approaching in the opposite lane, so moving there isn't an option, and there's isn't sufficient room on the side of the road to safely pull over. What's more, you're driving an old, beat-up car that's barely capable of going 60MPH on a good day, so you can't even increase your speed.

In this situation, a frustrated police officer may choose to charge you with failing to yield the right of way, which can count as a reckless driving charge in the state of Virginia. However, an experienced attorney should be able to argue to the judge or district attorney that you were a victim of circumstances, and couldn't have yielded the right of way without putting your own life in danger. Any questions? Call the experienced criminal and traffic attorneys of Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC for a free consultation!