For Virginia Juveniles, Texting while Driving Is a Serious Offense

The issue of teenagers texting while driving has been much in the news lately. Take, for example, the two-year prison sentence handed down to a Massachusetts teen who was texting on his cell phone just prior to a fatal crash. Of all juvenile traffic offenses, texting while driving is likely to elicit the least sympathy from judges, juries, and district attorneys. That's why you need the experienced lawyers of Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC at your side if you have been accused of this serious offense.

Many Teens Admit to Texting while Driving

According to a recent survey sponsored by AT&T, the vast majority of teenagers nationwide know that texting while driving is a bad idea. At the same time, however, nearly half of these teens admit to engaging in this practice, usually while they're stopped at a red light or stuck in traffic. Perhaps most surprisingly, more than three-quarters of the teens surveyed say they've been instructed specifically by their parents not to text and drive, yet have seen these same adults flouting the law.

Like other states, Virginia has been active in combating the growing threat of texting drivers, whether teens or adults. In 2009, the Virginia legislature passed a law banning texting while driving (either typing in messages or reading messages on a cell phone's screen). Being caught texting while driving will result in a fine of $20 for a first offense and $50 for subsequent offenses; in the current climate, however, it's more likely that an offender will be charged with negligent or reckless driving, facing stiff fines, revocation of his or her license, and possibly even jail time.

Have You Been Falsely Accused of Texting While Driving? The Lawyers at Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC Can Help

In order for a police officer to charge you with texting while driving, he or she has to catch you “red handed,” that is, actively reading or typing into your cell phone. In many cases, though, the police simply assume that you were texting, without actually witnessing the activity. You can also make the case that your texting while driving was the result of a genuine emergency; if the circumstances bear out, your lawyer may be able to have the case dismissed. In serious or fatal crashes, investigators can subpoena phone company records to see if any texting activity was taking place at the time of the crash; this type of evidence can be very difficult to refute.

In today's punitive climate, it's no small matter to be arrested, or even ticketed, for texting while driving. The attorneys at Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC will unearth all the evidence they can to prove your innocence of this charge. In the worst cases, they may be able to negotiate with the district attorney for the lightest possible penalty.