Fighting to Retain Your Driving Privileges
Under California law, reckless driving is described as driving with a willful disregard for the safety of other people. You may have been arrested for reckless driving on a public road or a private parking facility. Either way, reckless driving charges are serious and can carry severe penalties, including jail time, fines, and a permanent criminal record.
Reckless driving is not simply a traffic infraction like a speeding ticket. Reckless driving is a criminal offense that carries criminal penalties. Because it is automatically charged as a misdemeanor, reckless driving can include vehicle impoundment, a driver’s license suspension, and other consequences on top of jail time and fines.
While reckless driving is a serious offense, there are ways to reduce or remove the penalties you are facing. At the DUI Defense Group, our attorneys are committed to building strong legal defense strategies for our clients to reduce their charges or remove them altogether. Because we focus solely on driving-related cases, we are confident that we have the background and experience to assist you. For more information and to receive a free consultation, contact our law firm by calling 866-927-3295.
What is Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving is any driving offense that puts other people at risk. Simply put, reckless driving is operating a motor vehicle with a disregard for the safety of others.
Below are the primary examples of reckless driving:
- Excessive speeding
- Not watching the road
- Running a red light
- Changing lanes dangerously
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Swerving through traffic
- Failure to use a turn signal
- Failure to give the right of way to pedestrians
- Honking your horn for no reason
- Failure to stop at a stop sign
- Swerving into a lane already occupied by another vehicle
- Slamming on the brakes suddenly
- Participating in a race
Because reckless driving is such a broad violation, there are many reasons why someone could have reckless driving charges brought against them. For instance, if you change lanes quickly to avoid a traffic accident, you could technically be charged with reckless driving. Fortunately, our attorneys can present evidence in your favor to show the context around your behavior and reduce the penalties you are facing.
Is Reckless Driving a Felony or Misdemeanor Charge?
In most instances, reckless driving is charged as a misdemeanor offense. Misdemeanors are typically less severe than felonies and carry charges like shorter jail times, cheaper fines, and a shorter license suspension. However, violations like driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are typically charged as felonies, as driving while intoxicated is incredibly dangerous.
You may also be charged with a felony if another person is severely injured or killed due to your actions. Felony charges may also be attached to reckless driving charges, leaving you with both a felony and a misdemeanor to defend against.
What Are the Potential Penalties for Reckless Driving?
Unlike traffic infractions, reckless driving is a criminal charge with criminal penalties. If you are charged with a reckless driving misdemeanor, you could face up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Your vehicle may also be impounded for up to 30 days.
Even first-time offenders may have their licenses suspended for up to 30 days. If you are convicted a second time, your driving privileges may be suspended for up to 60 days. For a third or subsequent offense, you could have your license suspended for up to six months.
The DMV will also add two points to your license for a reckless driving conviction. After a certain number of traffic points, your license can be suspended or even revoked. The DMV can count the reckless driving conviction against you in any future license suspension hearings.
If you have any prior reckless driving convictions or if a person was hit or killed because of your reckless driving, the penalties will likely be increased.
How Do You Defend Against Reckless Driving Charges?
While reckless driving charges are serious, there are fortunately ways to defend against them. Our team will review your case to determine the best legal defense strategy before searching for evidence in your favor.
Below are some common defense strategies our team could use against reckless driving charges:
- Insufficient evidence of the defendant driving. Prosecutors must prove that you were the one driving the vehicle.
- Insufficient evidence of reckless driving. Prosecutors must have evidence that your driving was dangerous or negligent.
- Necessity. In some cases, individuals drive recklessly to avoid greater danger.
If you were driving dangerously to avoid further danger, our team can gather evidence to support your case. Our team can prove that you had reasonable belief that an emergency was happening and that the emergency presented a threat to you or someone else.
Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me?
While speeding tickets and parking tickets are common traffic violations, reckless driving is a serious criminal offense that carries harsh criminal penalties. If you have been charged with reckless driving, you could face fines, jail time, and a license suspension, plus other consequences. The best way to protect your rights is by hiring a team of experienced defense attorneys.
Our team at the DUI Defense Group has years of experience defending clients from driving-related charges. Whether you are a first-time offender or you have a criminal history, we are confident that we can use our background and legal knowledge to reduce or remove the penalties you are facing. Please don’t feel like you must navigate the criminal justice system on your own. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation by calling 866-927-3295.