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Can texting and driving land you in a jail?

By Josh Silverman on August 26, 2013


I was just reading an article circulated by Findlaw entitled "3 Ways Texting and Driving Can Land You in Jail."  Texting and driving is perhaps more dangerous than drunk driving.  Your reaction time isn't just slowed down, it becomes irrelevant because you may not even be aware that there is something to react to. 

Effective July 1, 2013, Virginia increased the penalties for texting and driving.  The penalty does not include jail time.  However if you are convicted of reckless driving (and it certainly is reckless to be texting and driving), then you could land in jail.  Even worse, if you cause a fatal car accident you could be convicted of involuntary manslaughter which carries jail time. 

In addition to criminal liability, there are other serious consequences.  Most importantly is the moral burden of needlessly harming someone else.  Civil liability is not limited in Virginia.  If you are a victim of a texting and driving accident you are entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost income, pain, suffering, disfigurement and any other injury.  You may also be entitled to recover up to $350,000 in punitive damages. 

Bottom line is that driving is not the time to be checking your texts.  If you have been injured due to someone texting and driving and would like more information about your legal rights, please contact us at (804) 325-4992.

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