What is reckless driving?

On Behalf of | May 19, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Many individuals have heard the terminology “reckless driving” thrown around to describe various ways someone may operate a vehicle. Few realize that it’s an actual criminal offense and that it’s a term only used to describe a handful of ways in which someone may operate a vehicle, though. 

Learning more about reckless driving is key to crafting a defense in your case. Knowing the consequences of such a conviction will motivate you to want to fight hard to avoid it in your case. 

What behaviors rise to the level of reckless driving?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, reckless driving involves someone operating a vehicle with “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” 

You shouldn’t get the impression that everyone facing reckless driving charges either injured someone or damaged property. A motorist may end up facing reckless driving charges for:

  • Operating a car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Crossing a centerline on a two-lane highway
  • Failing to yield to a pedestrian’s right of way
  • Attempting to evade police
  • Operating a vehicle at a rate that’s significantly higher than the posted speed limit
  • Running a stoplight
  • Texting and driving
  • Passing a stopped school bus
  • Drag racing other motorists

While the list above isn’t exhaustive, it should give you a better idea of the types of charges that may result in reckless driving charges.

What impact can a conviction for reckless driving have on you long-term?

A motorist convicted on reckless driving charges may end up with their license suspended. If you are lucky enough to keep your license, then a conviction may result in an 87.5% in how much you pay for auto insurance. 

Federal officials also maintain a scoring system for commercial carriers. A significant decline in your score could result in you losing your commercial driver’s license (if you have one). The court may impose significant fines, and you may face imprisonment if a judge or jury convicts you of reckless driving as well. 

You shouldn’t treat reckless driving charges like you would a parking ticket. There are major consequences associated with a conviction for reckless driving. An attorney can help you understand what goes into building a strong defense and protect your rights.