Georgia Reckless Driving Laws

The state of Georgia classifies reckless driving as a criminal act, breaching both criminal statutes as well as traffic statutes. In turn, drivers charged with reckless driving face both criminal penalties and limited administrative action regarding their license.

Defining Reckless Driving in Georgia

The state of Georgia defines reckless driving rather vaguely, indicating that the offense encompasses any driving that violates traffic laws and basic duty of care, while also endangering other drivers and pedestrians. What constitutes a simple violation of the rules of the road versus a criminal act of reckless driving is theoretically based on the possibility of harming others, but in practice, is merely the subjective determination of law enforcement.

Reckless Driving Penalties in Georgia



Criminal Penalties

Points Applied to License

Other Administrative Penalties

Reckless Driving


Incarceration up to one year, with fines not to exceed $1,000


License suspension possible, pending number of points currently held by driver

Impact on Your Driver's License

Reckless driving is not an automatic license suspension offense in Georgia, but the discretion of the courts, in limited instances, may dictate that suspension is required. However, the Department of Driver Services cannot suspend a license for a single reckless driving conviction. The Department of Driver Services in Georgia will initiate suspension proceedings for any driver accumulating 15 or more points in a two-year period, but drivers do have the ability to contest a pending suspension or to try to influence the length of suspension imposed. Drivers under suspension for points-based violations are also eligible for a limited permit during the suspension period in certain cases.

Dealing with a Reckless Driving Charge in Georgia

Addressing a reckless driving charge in Georgia will rely entirely on the outcome of a pending criminal case. For criminal cases, drivers should involve legal counsel in their defense. Most defense efforts for reckless driving cases involve undermining the prosecution's assertion that the more serious reckless driving charges are applicable instead of non-criminal traffic violations. In practice, people using legal counsel fare favorably in reckless driving cases, with most being resolved via plea options that prevent sentencing involving incarceration, reduce the charge to a non-criminal violation or dismiss the case outright.

When to Get a Lawyer

Given the possibility of incarceration, as well as the possibility of creating a criminal record for life, any driver facing reckless driving charges in Georgia should consult directly with a Georgia attorney about his or her case. A Georgia reckless driving lawyer can provide insight into defense strategies, which hinge almost entirely on case-specific considerations, as well as commence the legal action necessary to work out a favorable plea agreement. To learn more, consult with a Georgia reckless driving attorney.

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