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What is Reckless Driving?

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is a serious moving violation that is often treated as a misdemeanor. Individuals who face conviction for reckless driving may receive a penalty which can include fines, time in jail, deportation depending on their citizenship status, revocation of parole, and the suspension or revocation of the driver's license. In some jurisdictions, the penalties for reckless driving can vary depending on the circumstances and the specific details of the offense. The law may also have several categories of reckless driving set up.

In order for a person’s driving to be considered reckless driving, the activity on the road has to show an exhibited disregard for the safety of people, property, and animals. A person who is engaging in reckless driving can have a willful disregard for safety, or can simply have a wanton attitude towards the rules of operating a motor vehicle on the roads. In either situation, in order for someone accused of reckless driving to be successfully convicted, the court must demonstrate the complete disregard for safety in the form of testimony from other witnesses regarding the defendant’s driving. For example, police officers may testify about seeing a person engage in many reckless acts while driving.

Examples of Reckless Driving

Different acts of reckless driving can result from ignoring basic safety laws, like ignoring laws that forbid drivers to pass oncoming traffic, ignoring laws that prohibit the crossing of train tracks while there is an oncoming train, or disregarding laws that regulate driving speeds. Drivers who exceed the local speed limits by a significantly large amount can also be considered reckless drivers since by disregarding the speed limit, they are putting other drivers in imminent danger. Likewise, any driving activities such as driving repeatedly through red lights, swerving, or operating a vehicle with the intent to elude a law enforcement official are grounds for being charged with reckless driving.

The main concern with reckless driving is that reckless driving poses a risk to both driver and to individuals in the surrounding area. Other people can be harmed if the reckless driving results in an accident, including children, pedestrians, other drivers, and pets. Additionally, drivers may cause property damage when committing reckless driving by driving into buildings.

Defenses for Reckless Driving

There are different defenses which those charged with reckless driving can use. One defense is if the defendant is able to demonstrate that an emergency situation required excessive driving speeds. If you are considering to charges of reckless driving instead of pleading guilty to them, you may wish to consider seeking the advice of an experienced attorney who specializes in traffic law and reckless driving cases to see if there are other possible defenses or approaches to your case which could significantly improve the outcome of the case.

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