Domestic violence is a serious and prevalent issue that affects one in three women and one in four men across the United States. Data for Pennsylvania is no different, as the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that nearly 30% of Pennsylvanian women experience some form of domestic abuse each year.
In the United States, on average, every minute someone is abused by a partner. More than 25,000 phone calls to 9-1-1 were made from abuse victims in 2017 alone in Pennsylvania. This is just one example of the many forms of abuse that happen every day. If you or anyone you know is fighting domestic violence, it would be better to consult a protection from abuse attorney in PA to find a solution to their suffering.
We will now see the most common types of domestic violence charged in Pennsylvania.
- Physical abuse
Physical abuse is a form of domestic violence that affects thousands of individuals in Pennsylvania every year. Those who suffer from physical abuse fear for their lives and the lives of the people they love. The rate of physical abuse in Pennsylvania is alarming. According to statistics, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will deal with some form of domestic violence at some point in their lifetime, with an estimated 293,000 victims of domestic violence in Pennsylvania each year.
- Sexual assault
Sexual assault is domestic violence reported in Pennsylvania, and this form of abuse continues to plague the state. In many cases, sexual assaults are not reported because victims worry that they won’t be believed or that they will be met with hostility from law enforcement. However, you can report sexual assault to help prevent future crimes and end the cycle of violence.
- Emotional abuse
In Pennsylvania, emotional abuse is a form of domestic violence. Emotional abuse is defined as intentional, non-physical behavior which causes emotional harm to another person. It can include behaviors such as stalking, humiliation, and intimidation. The line between ‘normal’ and ‘abusive’ behavior can be difficult to distinguish. Some forms of abuse can be subtle, while others are more noticeable.
In Pennsylvania, stalking is a crime that occurs when a person knowingly engages in certain types of conduct with the intent to place or cause another person to feel frightened, threatened, oppressed, persecuted, or intimidated. According to the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines Commission, stalking refers to when a person knowingly engages in certain types of conduct with the intent to place or cause another person to feel frightened, threatened, oppressed, persecuted, or intimidated.
Reckless Driving in the State of Virginia
The state of Virginia is strict in its enforcement of laws against reckless driving. According to section 46.2-852 of the Virginia Code, reckless driving is listed as a criminal offense. In addition, the Virginia Code categorizes all driving that endangers the life and property of others as reckless.
Several behaviors that motorists exhibit while behind the wheels can qualify as reckless driving in Virginia. “Reckless driving causes nearly a third of all deaths involving major car accidents, which are more than 13,000 each year,” explains attorney Karin Riley Porter. As a result, you can be charged by an officer and can be found guilty or not guilty by a judge.
Types of Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is in different forms and includes:
1. Driving a vehicle with a mechanical fault
Va. Code § 46.2-853 considers driving a vehicle with faulty brakes as a reckless driving offense. Therefore, if a driver cannot maintain proper vehicle control, the driver will be held liable for reckless driving. However, if a driver could prove that they didn’t have prior knowledge that the vehicle was faulty, it would be possible to avoid conviction.
2. Not giving out the right signals when required
Not giving out a signal while driving on Virginia road is an offense under section 46.2-860 of the Virginia Code. Motorists are required to start signaling 50 feet away from the place they would be turning where the speed limit is not above 35 mph. In situations where the speed limit is above 35 mph, drivers are required to signal 100 feet away from where they would take a turn.
3. Driving alongside another vehicle on a single lane road
In Virginia, driving two vehicles abreast on a one-lane road is considered a reckless driving offense. This rule, however, only applies to vehicles and has no implications on motorcycles and bikes. If found liable, the offender will face charges.
Different Virginia roads are subject to variable speed limits. A driver can face charges for reckless driving if they exceed the speed limit specified by law on each road network. According to the Va. Code §46.2-862, a driver can face convictions for reckless driving if they exceed the specified speed limit by 20 mph or drive above 80 mph.
5. Driving with an impaired view
Some drivers overload their cars or carry passengers who prevent them from seeing all sides of the road. Overloading is most common in trucks. If the passenger’s sitting position in any way obstructs the driver’s view, then the driver can be charged for reckless driving.
6. Racing on Public Property
Section 46.2-865 of the Virginia Code considers car racing on any property that is open to the members of the public without authorization as reckless driving. If found guilty, the state can withdraw the license of the driver for up to six months.
Penalties for Reckless Driving in Virginia
A reckless driving conviction may attract different penalties to the offender, some of which may include:
- A suspension of the driver’s license for six months or more
- Up to one-year jail term
- Fine amounting to $2,500
- Increase in auto insurance
- Ineligibility for car rentals
- Possibility of permanent seizure of vehicle if found guilty of unauthorized car racing
Reckless driving is a severe offense in Virginia. If you are charged with the crime and convicted, it can stay in your driving records for up to 11 years. However, with the help of an experienced Virginia traffic attorney, you can get a lesser charge for the offense.
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