In most states and local jurisdictions, a reckless driving charge is treated as a traffic misdemeanor, which is far more serious than a common civil infraction. Due to efforts to increase efficiency in handling large numbers of citations, most jurisdictions have decriminalized most traffic violations offenses, however, in most cases, a reckless driving charge remains a criminal traffic offense, often punishable as a misdemeanor. In turn, most drivers charged with reckless driving should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss the potential defense they will utilize to beat a reckless driving charge in the courts.
Aside from the commonly employed traffic violation defense strategies, such as postponing, appealing, and seeing if an officer appears in court, a reckless driving charge presents the opportunity to employ other legal defenses, as well. In most cases, the reckless driving charge itself is carefully outlined in statutory language, which outlines the integral elements of a reckless driving charge. If an offender can prove his or her alleged incident did not meet one of these elements, he or she may have their case dismissed. Furthermore, a driver also most likely enjoys the right to be convicted by the legal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt, which places a large burden on the prosecutor to prove their case.
Often, through the assistance of legal counsel, a driver can learn what evidence against a driver is available during the discovery request period. Using this evidence, a traffic violations lawyer can mitigate the evidence used against a driver, while also entering evidence and arguments that support the driver's innocence or reason to dismiss the case. Even if the case involving a given driver will likely not result in a dismissal, there are still options available for a driver to beat a reckless driving charge.
If outright dismissal is not possible, a driver and their lawyer most likely can obtain some form of plea bargain with prosecutors that reduces the reckless driving charge to a lesser offense, most likely a civil traffic infraction. This will prove extremely beneficial for a driver, as a criminal record is not created, they most likely will not face automatic license suspension, and in turn, the overall costs of the reckless driving charge (insurance increases, reinstatement fees, court mandated fees, and court mandated fines) will be significantly less.
Again, it is integral for a driver to consult with a lawyer about an existing reckless driving charge as soon as possible to begin creating a solid defense strategy against the charge. A significant number of legal options are available to drivers to beat a reckless driving charge, but they must take the time to consult with a lawyer first to take advantage of these possibilities.