Criminal Defense Lawyer
One of the most common traffic violations a driver can be stopped for is reckless driving. This is because there are a number of behaviors that a driver can engage in while behind the wheel that can be considered reckless driving. Some of the more frequent of these dangerous behaviors include:
- Actions of the driver put other people on the road at risk
- Actions of the driver caused an accident that caused injury or death to someone
- Actions of the driver caused damage someone’s property
What Is Reckless Driving?
The law says that reckless driving occurs when a driver operates a vehicle in a way that shows a “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others.” The language of reckless driving laws in each state are often broadly interpreted by police. This results in either the driver receiving a ticket with a hefty fine or being arrested at the scene, depending on the gravity of the reckless behavior. Some of the more frequent reckless driving charges law firms handle include:
- Driving at a high speed
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Jumping from lane to lane
- Not using turn signals
It is not uncommon for a driver who has been accused of reckless driving to consider it just like any other traffic citation they may receive. However, reckless driving is often charged at a misdemeanor – or higher if the charges are upgraded – and carry many serious consequences if convicted. Some of the potential factors that could result in the charge upgraded to a felony are:
- When the driver’s reckless driving caused severe injury, permanent disability, or disfigurement
- When a driver’s reckless driving caused injury to a child or school crossing guard engaged in crossing guard duties
A reckless driving conviction is much more serious than a traffic ticket. It now means the driver has a criminal record. Depending on the gravity of the circumstances, the driver can end up receiving a jail sentence of up to 12 months. If the charges were a felony, that jail sentence turns into a prison sentence. A conviction also means the potential of thousands of dollars in fines, depending on the laws of the state the offense occurred. The driver would also be ineligible to have any other arrests or charges filed against them expunged.
Criminal convictions can also affect your ability to get a job, housing, or education if the reckless driving conviction was a felony charge.
Have You Been Charged with Reckless Driving?
If you are facing a reckless driving charge, do not make the mistake of treating it like a minor traffic ticket. A conviction can wreak havoc on both your personal and professional life. Call a skilled lawyer, like a criminal defense lawyer from the Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., to schedule a consultation and find out what your legal options may be for fighting this charge.
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