A Reckless Driving Conviction Bars a Felony DUI Prosecution.

Under Virginia Code sec. 19.2-294.1, whenever a person is charged with both Reckless Driving and DUI from the same act, and is convicted of one, the court is required to dismiss the other.

In Lawson v. Commonwealth (December 11, 2012) a driver was charged with both Reckless Driving and felony DUI (as a fourth offense).  He was found guilty of Reckless Driving, a misdemeanor, and asked that his DUI be dismissed per the statute.

The government argued that this double jeopardy law did not apply because felonies and misdemeanors were tried in different courts.  The Court of Appeals of Virginia disagreed and, applying the plain meaning to the statute, reversed the defendant’s felony DUI conviction and dismissed the case.

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