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Can HOA Revoke Driving Privileges?

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by GotAQuestion, Jul 29, 2020.

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  1. GotAQuestion

    GotAQuestion Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Fair point. Everyone who gets into an accident "for which they are found liable" fails to control their vehicle. That doesn't mean that person is a guilty of a crime. They may be liable for the damage, but civil liability does not equal guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. Do you believe that everyone that is liable for a car accident is guilty of a crime? Do you belive that our legal system holds that they are?
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I believe that the appropriateness of any citation should be determined based upon the unique facts surrounding the accident.
     
  3. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    To be clear: In your state, based upon your own description of the accident, you are guilty of reckless driving.

    § 46.2-852. Reckless driving; general rule.
    Irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving.

    (you endangered the property of the HOA)

    § 46.2-853. Driving vehicle which is not under control; faulty brakes.
    A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a vehicle which is not under proper control or which has inadequate or improperly adjusted brakes on any highway in the Commonwealth.

    (You didn't properly control your vehicle, as evidenced by your collision)

    § 46.2-869. Improper driving; penalty.
    Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this article, upon the trial of any person charged with reckless driving where the degree of culpability is slight, the court in its discretion may find the accused not guilty of reckless driving but guilty of improper driving. However, an attorney for the Commonwealth may reduce a charge of reckless driving to improper driving at any time prior to the court's decision and shall notify the court of such change. Improper driving shall be punishable as a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $500.

    (this allows the state to reduce the charge to "improper driving")


    (All of these can be found at Code of Virginia Code - Chapter 8. Regulation of Traffic)

    So, to answer your question ("Do you believe that everyone that is liable for a car accident is guilty of a crime? Do you belive that our legal system holds that they are?": Yes, I believe that every person in Virginia who causes an accident for which they are liable could be said to have violated the law in Virginia.


    EDIT: Of course, you may have an argument that the roads in your HOA are not "highways", as defined by your state, but I'd have to imagine that your attorney already thought of that...
     
    justblue likes this.
  4. GotAQuestion

    GotAQuestion Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Your interpretation of the law is wrong, both on its face and according to Virginia case law, which provides appropriate guidance on how to interpret the law. Are you familiar with using case law in this manner? I'm not trying to insult your intelligence, I'm simply asking. Statutes alone are ambiguous and usually require interpretation by the courts.

    "Yes, I believe that every person in Virginia who causes an accident for which they are liable could be said to have violated the law in Virginia."

    This is an incorrect statement according to the Virginia Supreme Court, as stated in Powers v. Commonwealth, Bacon v. Commonwealth, and Kennedy v. Commownwealth.

    Powers v. Commonwealth
    Bacon v. Com..
    KENNEDY v. COMMONWEALTH | 1 Va. App. 469 | Va. Ct. App. | Judgment | Law | CaseMine
    Reckless Driving & Traffic Offenses - King Campbell Poretz

    Please read those cases before responding.

    "
    § 46.2-852. Reckless driving; general rule.
    Irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving."

    (you endangered the property of the HOA)

    The law doesn't say it is a crime to "endanger the...property" of any person. It says it is a crime to "drive a vechicle...at a speed or in a manner as to endanger the...property..."

    The distinction is important. I endangered the property, but I wasn't driving recklessly or in a manner to endanger the property. I was driving 5 mph and was blinded by the sun. Under Virginia case law, this is allowed to happen. It is not criminal to be blinded by the sun and have an accident.

    "§ 46.2-853. Driving vehicle which is not under control; faulty brakes.
    A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a vehicle which is not under proper control or which has inadequate or improperly adjusted brakes on any highway in the Commonwealth."

    "(You didn't properly control your vehicle, as evidenced by your collision)"


    From Kennedy:
    "[T]he driver of a vehicle has a duty to use ordinary care to keep his vehicle under proper control." Meeks v. Hodge, 226 Va. 106, 109, 306 S.E.2d 879, 881 (1983) (citing Voight v. Reber, 187 Va. 157, 164, 46 S.E.2d 15, 19 (1948)). The law does not impose the duty upon a driver to keep his automobile under complete control at all times. Gale v. Wilber, 163 Va. 211, 221, 175 S.E. 739, 743 (1934)."

    The law doesn't require to maintain "complete control" at "all times." The law allows for momentary lapses of control. The person simply has a duty to use "ordinary care." I was exercising "ordinary care." Many people that get into accidents are using "ordinary care" when they get into accidents. They have momentary lapses of judgement, which causes the accident. This is not a crime in Virginia. There was must a contributing factor that led them to not exercise "ordinary care." Texting and driving and drinking and driving would be examples of such factors.

    Statement from "Powers v. Commonwealth by the Virginia Suprement Court

    "Mere happening of an accident does not give rise to an inference of reckless driving. Evidence that accused's car traveled in an erratic course for more than 900 feet and struck tree with such force that the motor was wrenched from it and defendant was thrown clear of car and injured, does not raise inference of reckless driving."

    The defendant in this case obviously "failed to maintain control of his vehicle" in a manner much more severe than I did, yet was found innocent of any crime, because the court recognized that the law does not require people to maintain complete control at all times. They only have to use proper care. There was no evidence in this case that the person did not exercise proper care, even though they slid 900 feet hit a tree and were thrown from their car. There is also no evidence in my case.
     
  5. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Again, the collision is proof of the offense in your case.
     
  6. GotAQuestion

    GotAQuestion Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Again, you don't appear to have read the cases that I cited (it was impossible for you have to read them that quickly) because again, the collision alone is NOT proof of an offense. Read the statement by the Virginia Supreme Court again.

    Statement from "Powers v. Commonwealth by the Virginia Suprement Court

    "Mere happening of an accident does not give rise to an inference of reckless driving. Evidence that accused's car traveled in an erratic course for more than 900 feet and struck tree with such force that the motor was wrenched from it and defendant was thrown clear of car and injured, does not raise inference of reckless driving."
     
  7. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    It's pretty clear that you did not understand what you read.

    All the court is saying in that case is that it's possible that there were other reasons for the accident, so one cannot assume it was reckless driving. In YOUR case, you are clearly stating that you continued driving when you knew that you couldn't see where you were going. THAT is disregard, as evidence by the collision.

    EDIT: From the case you cited (Powers):

    We have no way of determining from the evidence in this record how and why the accident happened. The momentum of the automobile and its erratic course may be attributed to the accelerator sticking or a defect in the car's steering mechanism over which the defendant had no control. The defendant may have suffered a sudden illness, or he may have been confronted with a sudden emergency not caused by his own negligence. See Hicks Cassidy, 208 Va. 610, 614, 159 S.E.2d 827, 830 (1968); Grasty Tanner, 206 Va. 723, 728, 146 S.E.2d 252, 256 (1966).

    In YOUR case, you chose to continue driving in a reckless manner.

    Each of the cases you cited speak to there being other possible reasons, whereas you are clear in stating that the cause of the accident is that you continued driving while blinded by the sun.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
  8. GotAQuestion

    GotAQuestion Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Now you have finally made a reasonable argument against me, one which I have considered. I had been driving for an hour and could see fine. I pulled in directly facing the sun and was blinded and dazed, momentarily not seeing where I was going, which caused the accident. That is a reasonable explanation. I did not have the chance to cease driving. Had I been driving for a continuous period not being able to see, or started driving when I couldn't see, I believe that would have been reckless driving. The officer did not make this case against me though. He simply said that I was "wearing sunglasses" which is not reasonable accussation of guilt. People are allowed to drive when the sun is bright, and are allowed to wear sunglasses. If that wasn't allowed, then everyone that drives when the sun is bright while wearing sunglasses should be pulled over and arrested. My explanation is true, and believable according to Virginia case law. It has not been proven otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt, and my doubt is reasonable. Do you accept that your initial assessment of every liable driver in an accident is guilty of a crime is wrong though?
     
  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Malum in se



    Malum prohibitum
     
  10. GotAQuestion

    GotAQuestion Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I understand your reference, but I don't understand your point.
     
  11. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    As I said before: I believe that every person in Virginia who causes an accident for which they are liable could be said to have violated the law in Virginia.

    My wording is very specific (and correct).
     
  12. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    It is literally true since it is a statement of your belief; whether or not your belief is sound is another matter. There are circumstances in which one may be at fault in an accident and yet not have violated the traffic law.
     
  13. GotAQuestion

    GotAQuestion Law Topic Starter New Member

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    This guy (or gal) gets it.
     

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