A lot of accident tickets just have something like “failure to maintain control” written on them. It’s simply not clear what that charge is all about, until you look up the law / code section online.
Unless you’re charged under a local code, “failure to maintain control” is going to be a reckless driving ticket. That’s right; it’s a class 1 misdemeanor under 46.2-853.
I think some officers don’t write “reckless driving” on the ticket to appease drivers at the scene. They don’t want people to freak out right there in front of them, so they write “failure to maintain control.” Then when you get home, you realize the ticket is a bit more serious.
Here’s the good news: many fail to maintain control tickets can be reduced to a lesser offense, such as improper driving. And some of them can be beaten completely. It definitely depends upon the facts and circumstances of the accident and your prior record.
If you’re charged with “failure to maintain control”, you should definitely consult with a local traffic attorney about your options.
photo credit: Natalia Carrasco
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