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Va. Code § 46.2-816. Following too closely. Traffic Ticket Defense.

If you have been charged with following too cloelsy in Virignia under Va. Code 46.2-816 I highly recommend reading the statute. The Statute for following too closely reads…

Va. Code § 46.2-816. Following too closely. (The actual statute)

“The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to the speed of both vehicles and the traffic on, and conditions of, the highway at the time.”

Following Too Closely: CDL Holders

Following too closely is very serious if you have a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) getting a following too  closely ticket and another serious traffic ticket within three years will result in a 60 day disqualification (i.e. 60-day license suspension)

Following Too Closely: DMV Points

Following too closely is a 4 points offense which can led to a license suspension because of excessive DMV demerit points.

Following Too Closely: Fines

Following too closely can also result in a $250 fine normally and a $500 fine if committed in a Highway Safety Corridor (Parts of I-95 for example).

Following Too Closely: Defenses

In 90% of the following too closely tickets, there is an accident. Two cars traveling in the same direction get into an accident and the person who rear-ended the car in front gets a ticket for following too closely after the officer shows up on the scene.

These tickets can be easy to beat if your attorney knows what he or she is doing. The most important this to remember about following too closely tickets is that the officer must prove you were following too closely NOT just doing something wrong.

A rear-end collision is generally a sign that the second driver was doing something wrong but it does not prove that they were following too closely. A rear-end collision can be caused by falling asleep at the wheel, texting while driving, a medical emergency, faulty brakes, being cut off by a braking car, being hit by a car and pushed into the car in front, or even by being slobbering drunk.

An officer must prove that the accident was caused by following too closely instead of any of the other many things that can cause a rear-end collision. In order to do that, the officer needs a witness who saw you tail gating or the defendant needs to have admitted to the officer that they were tail gating.

If the officer did not do a proper investigation and did not establish that any of these other issues where to blame, defending your self in court can be a huge mistake.

If you are representing yourself in court, you are the one who talks to the judge and cross examines the officer. If you have an attorney, you most likely will not have to say anything in court. If your best defense against a following too closely charge is based on a lack of evidence the last thing you want to do is take the witness stand and then be forced to provide all the missing evidence. If an officer cannot prove you were following too closely, hire an attorney.

Luke J. Nichols

Nichols & Green pllc

(703) 383-9222




About Luke Nichols

Luke Nichols practices almost exclusively traffic law in Northern Virginia. His primary practice areas include reckless driving, speeding, DUI/DWI, refusal, hit-and-run, driving on a suspended license, and driving on a revoked license. Mr. Nichols has represented hundreds of Virginia drivers. You can also connect with Luke on Google+
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