speeding ticket

Reckless Driving

If you have been charged with reckless driving, then you are likely to suffer a number of penalties, ranging from points added to your driving license, fines and a possible period in a county or state jail.

The actual penalties differ from state to state, but there are more similarities than there are differences.

There has been a trend in some states for law enforcement officers to make charges for both reckless driving as well as a speeding violation at the same time, which will automatically compound the penalties you will incur.

If you feel that the charge of reckless driving should not have been made or suspect that the charges might lead to particularly severe penalties, then you should get a traffic violation attorney to help represent you. They can assess your situation and advise you on how to proceed to mitigate your charges or even get them dismissed.

What is reckless driving?

Reckless driving is normally defined by most states as driving without proper regard for the safety of either property or people. Reckless driving is a separate charge from careless driving, although the penalties are normally not very different.

Some people think that reckless driving cannot possibly apply to a two wheeled vehicle, but this is not true. In most states, the charge can be used against any person who is in control of a motor vehicle, such as an automobile, truck or motor cycle as well as an electrically powered cycle or even a bicycle.

Prosecutors must prove intent to drive recklessly

Prosecutors, however, do have to prove that the person who was recklessly driven knew that they were driving recklessly and that it was a deliberate act. It is this requirement which allows attorneys some leeway with being able to defend somebody who has been charged with this offense.

A reckless driving charge is classed as a criminal misdemeanor by most states and can be applied whether you were driving on public highways or on private property.

Penalties for reckless driving

The usual points added to your state driving license will be eight and if you are an out of state driver, then your charge will be recorded on the state online record, usually by some sort of tracking number. In addition to this, the state in which your license was issued will most likely be notified using the driver’s license compact system now in place between most states.

The charge of reckless driving will be heard either in a county court or a municipal court, with the penalties being imposed, if found guilty, being somewhat different between the two. Generally speaking, penalties imposed by municipal courts are a little more severe than those imposed by county courts.

County courts normally impose a prison sentence of between ten days to three months and fines of between 100 to $500. These penalties go up, as might be expected with second or repeat offenses. If the charge is heard in a municipal court, then the maximum jail sentence can rise to 1 year for a first offense and up to $1000 fine plus court costs.





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