Delaware Reckless Driving Laws

Delaware addresses reckless driving as a criminal traffic offense carrying both the potential of criminal penalties like jail time and fines, as well as administrative penalties like license suspension.

Defining Reckless Driving in Delaware

Delaware defines reckless driving as any wanton or willful operation of a motor vehicle that endangers other persons or their property. What differentiates reckless driving, a criminal offense, from any other traffic violation, a non-criminal offense, is often merely the subjective interpretation of law enforcement. Through legal counsel, drivers can use the relatively vague nature of reckless driving laws in Delaware to their advantage.

Reckless Driving Penalties in Delaware



Criminal Penalties

Points Applied to License

Other Administrative Penalties

Reckless Driving


Incarceration of 10 to 30 days, with fines of $100 to $300


Suspension possible based on points

Reckless Driving, subsequent offense within three years


Incarceration of 30 to 60 days, with fines of $300 to $1,000


Suspension probable based on points, possible habitual offender

Impact on Your Driver's License

Reckless driving itself, if a first offense, will not result in license suspension outright. Three reckless driving convictions in one year results in a mandatory revocation, while three major traffic violations (including reckless driving) within a five-year period results in mandatory suspension for a habitual offender. In Delaware, accumulation of 12 or more points in a two-year period requires attendance at traffic school, otherwise he or she faces a two-month license suspension. Accumulation of 14 or more points within a two-year period results in a mandatory four-month license suspension.

Dealing with a Reckless Driving Charge in Delaware

Addressing the reckless driving charge faced in Delaware will hinge mainly on the outcome of pending criminal charges. In most defense cases, reckless driving charges are based on highly subjective observations or reports from law enforcement. This evidence, when coupled with the relatively vague nature of the law, provides ample ground for defense efforts centered on questioning whether the reckless driving charge is even applicable. In practice, these defense methods result in some form of resolution before trial, ideally in dismissal, but more often in the form of a plea agreement which may include a suspended sentence for first offenders in Delaware. As part of any plea option, drivers can seek a reduction of their reckless driving charge to the lesser offense of careless or inattentive driving, which is still a criminal offense. However, more favorable plea options include reducing the charges faced into non-criminal traffic violations, as well as outright dismissal of the charges. A favorable resolution, whether by plea option or dismissal, will require the intervention and insight of a lawyer.

When to Get a Lawyer

To learn more about defending against a reckless driving case in Delaware, specifically how you can obtain a favorable resolution via dismissal or a plea agreement, consult with a Delaware reckless driving lawyer.

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