First of all, if you're going that fast – whether it's 10 miles over the speed limit or 100 – then that already tells you that you might have been driving dangerously if not recklessly. Keep in mind also that speeding alone isn't enough to convict someone of reckless driving unless other circumstances exist as well. When you are accused of reckless driving, it can be a very stressful experience. It is important to remember that you have the right to defend yourself and to make sure that your rights are protected. Here are some tips on how to do that.
What is reckless driving?
Reckless driving is a serious charge that can result in large fines and even jail time. In many states, a conviction for reckless driving will also result in the suspension or revocation of your driver's license. If you are accused of reckless driving, it is important to have a personal injury lawyer that will fight your case. A good lawyer will be able to review the evidence against you and help build a strong defense.
The legal definition of reckless driving will vary from state to state. In some states, the only difference between a recklessness charge and a negligence charge is that with a recklessness charge, intent or knowledge is required. In most states, the legal definition of reckless driving will include these key elements:
Driving in a way that disregards public safety Driving with willful disregard for other drivers, pedestrians, etc. Willfully engaging in risky behavior behind the wheel
What evidence can be used to convict you?
To prove that you were driving carelessly or recklessly, a police officer must present evidence of your driving offense actions. This typically involves testimony about what happened during the incident as well as various forms of physical evidence such as images from traffic cameras or photos taken at the scene.
If you are accused of reckless driving, it is important to have a good lawyer that can review your case. A good lawyer will know what evidence needs to be present to convict you and will do his best to make sure that all necessary evidence is obtained. For example, if there are no witnesses, then the prosecution may not have enough evidence to convict you unless your car was equipped with some kind of recording device such as a black box or dashcam.
Types of reckless driving charges
A driver can be charged with reckless driving for many different actions behind the wheel. Some common examples of reckless driving include:
Driving too fast
Passing another vehicle on a hillside
Driving through heavy traffic
Passing a school bus
A driver can also be charged with reckless driving for other actions such as being impaired by alcohol or drugs, racing other cars on public roads, or purposefully driving into another car.
What are defenses to reckless driving?
If you have been accused of reckless driving, you must have a personal injury lawyer review your case. They may be able to find evidence that the officers who wrote the ticket made mistakes during their investigation. If this is the case, then there may be enough to get your ticket dismissed. You should never assume that you will automatically lose simply because you were charged with reckless driving, there are legal options available to help defend yourself against these serious charges. Your lawyer may also be able to find evidence that proves your innocence. This is the ideal outcome and the one that you should hope for.
Many potential defense strategies can be used if you have been charged with reckless driving. A few common examples might include the following.
No witnesses or insufficient evidence
If this is the case, then it may not be possible to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that you were the one behind the wheel at the time of an incident. It's also possible that no witnesses saw enough of what happened to give accurate testimony as part of a trial.
As noted above, to prove that you were driving carelessly or recklessly, a police officer must present evidence of your actions. This typically involves testimony about what happened during the incident as well as various forms of physical evidence such as images from traffic cameras or photos taken at the scene. If an investigation was incomplete, then there might not be enough evidence for officers to conclude that you were reckless or careless behind the wheel, even if they think it's likely that you did something wrong.
It is also possible that another driver committed reckless driving, but was misidentified by witnesses or other drivers. Many drivers are negligent when they drive, and this includes law enforcement officers. If there is no solid proof that you did anything wrong, then it could be possible that the officer targeted the wrong car.
Not enough evidence to convict
It's also possible that there are multiple steps involved in proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed reckless driving. If any of these steps were not completed or if some key evidence is missing, then there may not be enough evidence to prove your guilt, resulting in charges being dismissed. For example, maybe proper procedures weren't followed during traffic stops, but this was not discovered until after trial.
What are the penalties if convicted?
Depending on where you live, a conviction for reckless driving could result in different penalties. Some common penalties include:
Fines up to $1,000 plus penalty assessments
Jail time as long as 90 days
Suspension or revocation of your driver's license points added to your driver's license (typically 3-6 points)
If you have been cited for reckless driving, you must take the situation seriously. This can affect your freedom as well as your ability to drive legally for up to three years depending on where you live. You may be able to avoid charges if you have a skilled attorney to investigate your case and work diligently to get all charges dropped.