Consequences of a Reckless Driving Conviction

Reckless Driving is a cause of property damage, personal injury and even deaths. Reckless driving is one of the major causes of teen car crash incidents.

Definition Of Reckless Driving

Reckless driving falls into different specific criminal categories across the United States. In Washington State, for example, it is a gross misdemeanor. It is a misdemeanor in Alaska and a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), reckless driving occurs when the driver of any motorized vehicle operates it in a fashion that endangers or will endanger individuals or property.

In defining reckless driving, the law looks at the principles of risk and harm. An integral factor is the risk of harm. The act must be intentional. There must also be flagrant disregard for the safety of another.

Types of Reckless Driving

There are different categories or types of reckless driving. Some, such as driving at certain speeds, are subject to state stipulations; others are more general in their application.

  • Exceeding the set speed limit e.g. in Washington State this is 15mph over the stated/posted limit
  • Weaving through traffic, constantly changing lanes
  • Excessive speed in a school zone
  • Drag strip racing
  • Driving at night without headlights
  • Driving without due consideration to the safety of other individuals
  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Tail gating
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Passing other cars by using the shoulder of the road
  • Improper signaling fro turns, stops
  • Failure to obey the various traffic signals – including red lights, stop signs, yield signs
  • Fleeing from the police

Consequences Of A Reckless Driving Conviction

If you are charged with reckless driving, the penalties can be severe. The exact application and harshness of the punishment will vary in accordance with state statutes and the specific nature of your case. If the matter is a repeat offence or you have had a certain number of traffic offences within a set time, the penalties will increase. Generally, you will face the following consequences:

  • A fine
  • Imprisonment
  • Insurance rate increase
  • Demerit points
  • Suspension or loss of driver's license
  • Driving school

Hiring An Attorney

If you are facing a charge of reckless driving, consider consulting and/or hiring a lawyer. He or she may not be able to extricate you from the situation. The attorney, however, may be able to mitigate the damage.

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