RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond City Councilwoman Stephanie Lynch, who was charged with hit-and-run and reckless driving after an incident in December 2021, has been found guilty of using a handheld device while driving.
According to G. Manoli Loupassi, Lynch’s attorney, Lynch was found guilty in the Richmond City General District Court on Monday morning and will have to pay a $125 fine in addition to $87 in court costs.
The hit-and-run charge was dismissed, and Loupassi said Lynch was ultimately convicted of a minor traffic infraction in lieu of the more serious misdemeanor charge of reckless driving.
On Monday, Dec. 20, Lynch says she was driving home from a friend’s house after picking up a space heater, when she became districted trying to plug her phone in. Her 2005 Mercedes then hit a 1997 Toyota 4-Runner that was parked on West 31st Street.
Lynch then left the scene of the crash and returned home, waiting to call police until the next morning. It was confirmed by the Richmond Police Department that officers responded to the scene shortly after the crash.
An 8News investigation revealed that Lynch has been found guilty of numerous traffic incidents in the last ten years, including another conviction for holding a phone while driving in Henrico.
According to VA Code, use of a handheld device while driving generally carries a fine of $125 for the first offense and $250 for subsequent offenses.
Correction: In a previous report the charge councilwoman Lynch was convicted of was incorrectly reported.