Reckless Driving and Criminal Defenses

Criminal Defense Attorney

A charge of reckless driving should always be taken seriously as the consequences of a conviction can affect just about every aspect of your life. Even if you have a clean driving record and have never been charged with anyone in your life, it is important to have an attorney represent you during this time. Criminal defense lawyers Rockville, MD trusts are experienced in these charges and can counsel you and work with the courts in obtaining the best possible outcome for your case.

The laws concerning reckless driving can be somewhat different from state to state so be sure you understand the particulars in your state. Your attorney will be able to answer any questions concerning your state-specific laws.

Reckless driving is a criminal offense with potentially severe ramifications. This is because driving a car in a dangerous manner can result in serious, even deadly results.

The penalties for reckless driving will depend upon the circumstances surrounding each case. A driver charged with reckless driving can be convicted criminally when found guilty of driving dangerously. In every state there are actions that can be considered reckless driving.

  • More than negligence — A reckless driving charge means the driver acted willfully, disregarding safety. It is more than just making an error while behind the wheel. A prosecuting lawyer does not have to prove the mental state of the driver at the time of the incident. The attorney just needs to show that because of what was going on at the time of the incident, the driver should have been aware that it was unsafe to drive.
  • Factors — The court considers several facts when deciding the makeup of a reckless driving charge. These include:
    – Weather conditions at the time
    – What time of day the incident occurred
    – The condition of the vehicle
    – How familiar was the driver with the area
    – Were there any other people or animals present
  • Was the driver putting other people or even their own life at risk?
  • Automatic charge of reckless driving — in some state there are certain conditions that automatically warrant a reckless driving charge. This is called “per se’ reckless. These conditions include passing a school bus, racing, speeding in excess of 20 mph over the speed limit, or passing a car while going over a railroad track.


What Happens in a Reckless Driving Conviction

A reckless driving conviction can come with serious penalties including large fines, having your license suspended, and possibly up to one year in jail. In some states, reckless driving is considered a felony offense and if you are convicted you could spend even longer in a state prison. Typically, felony charges are used when there was an injury because of reckless driving. Fines can be imposed from hundreds to even thousands of dollars.

Instead of prison time, you may be subject to probation, depending on the details of the case. Probation usually requires you to visit regularly with a parole officer and if you break any laws or get any other traffic citations you may be sentenced to jail time.

If you are charged with reckless driving, it is wise to contact a traffic attorney. Contact an experienced team of lawyers and set up an appointment to discuss your case.


Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into reckless driving and criminal defense.

Related Posts