The number of vehicle accidents continues to climb each year, killing thousands of victims and causing serious injuries to hundreds of thousands more. Many of these crashes are caused by drivers operating their vehicles in a reckless manner. This is why many states have reckless driving laws that are strictly enforced by law enforcement. Reckless driving charges are different than other traffic violations, which often result in a citation or fine. A person who is facing reckless driving charges could be charged with criminal offenses.
The law defines reckless driving as operating a vehicle in such a way that it puts other people on the roads at risk. Although the law does have specifics, police can charge anyone – and that person can be convicted – if they are driving in a dangerous manner not specifically cited in the statute.
The court will look at the following in determining whether or not a reckless driving charge is appropriate:
· The court will look at the factors in a case, such as the time of day the alleged offense took place, whether there were other people or animals in the area, whether the driver was familiar with the area they were driving in, what condition the vehicle was in, and what the weather conditions were.
· The court will look at whether the driver willfully acted with disregard for everyone’s safety.
· The court will examine how dangerous the driver’s actions were to other people and how much those people’s lives were jeopardized by the driver’s actions.
Penalties for reckless driving vary from state to state, however, all states consider reckless driving one of the most serious traffic violations a driver can commit. Convictions of reckless driving bring with it hefty fines, loss of license, and jail time:
Fines: A conviction of reckless driving brings with a guaranteed penalty of at least high fines, ranging from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the violation and the state law.
License suspension: Many states have a mandatory license suspension of at least 30 days for a reckless driving conviction. Prior reckless driving convictions could mean longer suspension times or permanent revocation for multiple convictions.
Probation: Depending on the driver’s criminal and driving records and the circumstances of the case, the court could decide to sentence the driver to probation upon conviction.
Jail or prison: A reckless driving conviction is usually charged as a misdemeanor offense which means that a person who is convicted could be sentenced to up to 12 months in jail. There are some states that classify some reckless driving charges as felonies, which means a conviction could bring a minimum of one year or more in state prison. Felony reckless charges usually are brought forward when a victim has been injured due to the driver’s reckless driving.
Contact a Reckless Driving Attorney for Help
If you are facing reckless driving charges, the first step to take is to contact a criminal defense lawyer in Rockville, MD, such as from the Law Office of Daniel Wright. Your attorney will know exactly what type of penalties you may be facing should you be convicted and will work hard in building a defense to fight against these charges. A reckless driving conviction could impact your driving record, ability to get vehicle insurance, and more. Call a law office today to set up a free and confidential case evaluation.