Louisiana Reckless Driving Laws

Reckless driving is codified under the term "reckless operation" in Louisiana. Violation of this law is a criminal offense, carrying the potential of criminal penalties and limited administrative action.

Defining Reckless Driving in Louisiana

Louisiana defines reckless operation as any operation of a motor vehicle or other form of conveyance in a manner which exhibits recklessness or negligence. This must be in excess of failure to exercise a reasonable duty of care, or in short, supersede simple violations of traffic laws. This typically includes actions or operation presenting some risk to other persons, whether drivers, passengers or pedestrians.

Reckless Driving Penalties in Louisiana



Criminal Penalties

Points Applied to License

Other Administrative Penalties

Reckless Operation


Incarceration up to 90 days, with fines up to $200

No points system in LA, if out of state driver, points in state of residence applicable

License suspension unlikely, unless it's a third charge in a one-year period

Impact on Your Driver's License

Because Louisiana does not actively engage in a point system does not mean drivers are not subject to license implications. Drivers in Louisiana have all violations and driving records recorded, and if sufficient grounds exist, such as repeat violations, their license may be suspended without notice, and only 30 days to request a formal hearing. This is not likely to occur with a single count of reckless operation, assuming the driver has no prior convictions. However, creating a pattern of traffic violations, especially those entering the criminal side of the law, presents the potential of license suspension in Louisiana.

Dealing with a Reckless Driving Charge in Louisiana

Addressing a reckless operating charge in Louisiana is best served on a case-specific basis through the use of legal counsel. A driver will be required to address the charges in court, unless otherwise dropped. In practice, criminal defense methods employed by legal counsel will center on reducing the charges faced to lesser traffic violations of a non-criminal nature, if a dismissal is not possible.

When to Get a Lawyer

In any case of reckless operation, a driver should seek legal counsel from a Louisiana attorney from the outset. The charges are criminal in nature and do carry the potential of incarceration, not to mention the creation of a criminal record, which may preclude certain forms of employment. If legal counsel is involved, your case can be resolved through a favorable plea option entailing no criminal conviction.

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