Maryland Reckless Driving Laws

Maryland addresses reckless driving as a serious traffic offense. For drivers, this means conviction carries the potential of criminal penalties, such as fines and court-ordered license suspension, but also administrative action such as the application of points to a license.

Defining Reckless Driving in Maryland

The state of Maryland defines reckless driving as any operation of a motor vehicle that deviates from duty of care, including deviations from traffic laws, which place other drivers or their property in undue risk for harm. Ultimately, what differentiates a reckless driving charge from a traditional traffic violation will be the perceived intent of the driver, initially by law enforcement and later by criminal prosecutors.

Reckless Driving Penalties in Maryland



Criminal Penalties

Points Applied to License

Other Administrative Penalties

Reckless driving

Incarcerable traffic offense

Fines not to exceed $500, with possibility of court-mandated license suspension


License suspension possible by nature of point accumulation

Impact on Your Driver's License

On a case-specific basis, first offense reckless driving convictions may result in automatic license suspensions upon the discretion of the courts. However, more typically, point based suspensions by way of accumulating 8 to 11 points on a license in a two-year period, is more common. In either case, drivers can appeal the pending suspension with the MVA through a hearing, and even then, if their license is still suspended, Maryland does allow limited restricted licenses during suspension.

Dealing with a Reckless Driving Charge in Maryland

Addressing the incarcerable nature of the reckless driving offense is the most important aspect of any Maryland reckless driving case. This will entail essentially questioning the applicability of the reckless driving charge in light of other less serious traffic offenses. The best options for dealing with a reckless driving charge will involve attempts at outright dismissal, or more likely, attempts to reduce the charge to a lesser, non-incarcerable traffic offense.

When to Get a Lawyer

Given the wide-scale implications of a conviction of reckless driving in Maryland, including the potential of license suspension and the implications this may have on a driver's employment or professional licenses, seeking out legal counsel from the start is advisable. For more information on your specific reckless driving case, consult with a Maryland reckless driving lawyer to learn more.

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