Reckless driving, per Utah’s Traffic Code, is a criminal offense, carrying both the likelihood of criminal penalties and administrative action by the Utah Department of Motor Vehicles and the Utah Driver License Division.
Utah's Definition of Reckless Driving
Utah defines reckless driving as operation of a vehicle in a manner that shows disregard for other drivers, pedestrians, passengers or property. Intentional disregard must culminate in three moving violations under Utah Traffic Code, Title 41, Chapter 6(a) within one episode of driving in a space of 3 miles or shorter.
Utah's Penalties for Reckless Driving
Points Applied to License
Other Administrative Penalties
Class B misdemeanor
Incarceration of no more than 6 months; fines no more than $1,000
Automatic license suspension likely, must attend DLD hearing
Impact on Your Driver's License
In Utah drivers who accrue more than 200 points in a 3-year period may be subject to points-based license suspensions. A state-approved driving school may reduce point totals; this decision is made on a case-by-case basis. Regardless of points, conviction of a single, first-time reckless driving offense carries potential of automatic license suspension, and you will have limited opportunity to obtain a hardship/occupational license.
Options for Dealing with a Reckless Driving Charge in Utah
Addressing the fallout from a reckless driving arrest will require two tasks, addressing criminal penalties and addressing administrative penalties. In short, both issues are best handled by a reckless driving lawyer; however, in most cases reckless driving criminal charges are resolved either via outright dismissal or via a plea agreement, which may reduce your charges to a non-criminal traffic violation or at the very least, prevent incarceration if you are a first-time offenders.
As far as administrative action, license suspension is pending upon your arrest for reckless driving. If you wish to keep your license, you must contest the pending suspension at a DMV hearing.
When to Get a Lawyer for Reckless Driving in Utah
Using legal counsel from the outset of a reckless driving arrest is advisable for this reason: Utah requires law enforcement to document three infractions within a short period.