What Is A Reckless Driving Ticket?
Reckless driving, which in some states is referred to as careless, dangerous, or negligent driving, encompasses a variety of risky driving behaviors. Essentially, reckless driving is any driving behavior that shows a willful and wanton disregard for the laws of the road and of the safety of other road users. It is not necessary for reckless driving to result in an accident in order for you to be charged with reckless driving. However, many states have additional penalties for those whose reckless driving leads to injury, death, or property damage.
Some of the behaviors that are usually considered to be reckless driving include excessive speeding, running red lights or stop signs, texting while driving, street racing, running from law enforcement, following too closely, intentionally failing to yield the right-of-way when required to do so, passing a stopped school bus, passing by crossing the double yellow line on a two-lane highway, and DUI/DWI. Some of these offenses are also offenses in their own right, meaning you could be charged with both reckless driving and another offense (such as texting and driving or DUI/DWI) at the same time.
The thresholds for reckless driving vary considerably from one state to the next. For example, in Arkansas, you could be facing a Class C Misdemeanor for driving in excess of the posted speed limit by just 15 mph.
What To Do If I Get Reckless Driving Ticket?
Reckless driving is a serious offense and a Reckless Driving Ticket can be very costly. While classified as a misdemeanor in most states, reckless driving is still a crime that can result in fines, license suspension, multiple driving record points and even jail time. The below information provides a general overview of reckless driving laws and penalties in the United States. However, please remember that reckless driving laws vary considerably from state to state, so it is important to check what the specific laws are in your own state if you have received a reckless driving ticket. The next step is to research what are your options if you get a reckless driving ticket. A reckless driving ticket can be devastating, especially if it’s related to a DUI or an accident. You might consider consulting with legal counsel to fight a reckless driving ticket, or you might want to just plea no-contest and see if the judge takes mercy on you.
Penalties For A Reckless Driving Ticket
Penalties for a reckless driving ticket vary drastically from state to state and also depending on whether this is your first or a subsequent offense. In Delaware, for example, the penalty for a first offense can be a fine between $100 and $300, imprisonment of between 10 and 30 days, or both. For a subsequent offense that occurs within 3 years of the previous offense, then the fine increases to between $300 and $1000, imprisonment between 30 and 90 days, or both. Additionally, you will also have your license suspended for a period of up to 30 days for subsequent reckless driving convictions.
In general, reckless driving is usually defined as a misdemeanor subject to a fine. However, short jail stints for reckless driving are not unusual. Additionally, there are states that treat reckless driving as a felony, which is much more serious than a misdemeanor. In many states, any reckless driving that results in death or bodily injury is a felony offense. Some states, however, don’t require a person to be injured in order for a felony reckless driving charge to be laid. For example, in Rhode Island, any second or subsequent conviction of reckless driving is considered a felony.
Furthermore, your insurance premiums will almost certainly increase if you are convicted of reckless driving. Reckless driving is usually considered more serious than a simple speeding ticket, so expect your insurance premiums to take a big jump. Most insurers will keep a record of your reckless driving conviction for three years, during which time you will be paying increased premiums. These records can also be attached to your personal records that are used in background checks for employment, home loans, etc.
Losing Your License From A Reckless Driving Ticket
One of the most serious penalties you may face from a reckless driving charge is the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. In some cases, a license suspension may be automatic. This is often the case for multiple reckless driving convictions, reckless driving that results in death or injury, or reckless driving in conjunction with a DUI/DWI.
In many cases, however, reckless driving results in a license suspension due to the accumulation of demerit points. Most states now operate on a license points system whereby if you accumulate enough points then you could lose your license.
One way of preventing points from leading to the loss of your license is by enrolling in a traffic safety school. In many states, the successful completion of a traffic safety course can lead to points being removed from a license. Many such courses can be completed entirely online. These courses can also result in lower insurance premiums. You should check with your state’s DMV to find out more about whether traffic school can help mitigate the penalties related to reckless driving. And if traffic school is available to remove points from your record, you may want to also run a background check on yourself to make sure your personal record is clean.
How To Fix A Reckless Driving Ticket
Don’t take a reckless driving ticket lightly. A reckless driving ticket, even if it only entails a fine, is still considered a criminal offense and it will go on your record. In some situations, you could also be facing jail time and the loss of your license. You may seriously want to consider talking to an attorney for help before agreeing to pay any fine. Once you pay your fine, you are pleading guilty to the offense, which may mean points will be applied to your license. And on top of that, applying for employment, home and other types of loans, can affect you if a background check is conducted.