Montana Reckless Driving Laws

Any violation of Montana's reckless driving laws incurs both the potential of criminal penalties, creates a criminal record if convicted, and includes the accrual of administrative penalties with the Montana Motor Vehicle Division as well.

Defining Reckless Driving in Montana

Per Montana Codes Annotated, 61-8-301, reckless driving is defined as any operation of a motor vehicle that expresses wanton, willful or reckless disregard for the safety of others or their property. A sub-statute also defines any act of passing a stopped school bus with a red signal flashing as a reckless driving offense as well.

Reckless Driving Penalties in Montana



Criminal Penalties

Points Applied to License

Other Administrative Penalties

Reckless driving


Potential of incarceration of not more than 90 days, with fines of at least $25, but not more than $300


Third reckless driving offense within one year mandates license suspension of one year, but prior to third conviction, at discretion of courts

Impact on Your Drivers License

A single count of reckless driving, unless involving other criminal traffic violations or a third reckless driving charge within one year, can potentially result in license suspension, pending the decision of the courts and the consideration of the Montana Motor Vehicle Division. Any court-ordered suspension, by statute, can be challenged by a driver in court. Furthermore, any suspended licensee is eligible for partial license reinstatement via hardship license, provided on a case-specific basis, often for work-related or health-related concerns. For license revocation/suspension to occur based on points, a driver must accumulate 30 points within a three-year period, which results in a one-year revocation if this occurs.

Options for Dealing with a Reckless Driving Charge in Montana

The main emphasis of any attempt to deal with reckless driving charges in Montana should revolve around using legal counsel to contest the criminal charges faced. In practice, through the use of legal representation, drivers can possibly obtain outright dismissal of the reckless driving charge, or at the very least, obtain some form of favorable plea agreement, preventing incarceration and limiting the length of any license suspension. These plea deals may entail reduction of the reckless driving charge into a lesser, non-criminal traffic violation.

When to Get a Lawyer

To learn more about your legal rights and options in a Montana reckless driving case, the only reliable resource for case-specific insight and information will be through consulting directly with a Montana reckless driving lawyer.

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