Reckless driving is a dangerous traffic violation that could result in fines, the suspension of one’s driver’s license, and even jail time.
Resulting in over 30% of fatal auto accidents across the United States, reckless driving is an umbrella term for a number of detrimental behaviors behind the wheel but is largely defined as driving a vehicle “a vehicle heedlessly, in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others, in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger, a person or property” according to N.J.S.A. 39:4-96.
The experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC is ready to fight for you. Schedule a free consultation with our office to discuss your case and understand your legal options.
What does it mean to drive recklessly?
There is no one way to drive recklessly. In fact, there are several actions that may be considered reckless while behind the wheel, including:
- Excessively speeding
- Failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, especially while people are crossing the street
- Failing to obey traffic control lights at a busy intersection
- Driving with a blood-alcohol concentration that is just under the legal limit (0.08%)
- Failing to safely change lanes while traveling through congested traffic
No matter the circumstances, there is one common thread that connects all reckless driving cases: intention. According to New Jersey statutes, those who engage in reckless driving do so with the intention to violate traffic laws.
Reckless driving consequences
After being convicted for reckless driving, you will receive 5 points on your driving record. Points can increase your insurance rates and result in a number of financial and personal hurdles. If you accumulate six or more points on your driving history in 3 years, you will be assessed a $150 surcharge plus $25 for each additional point, and if you receive 12 or more points, your license will be suspended.
Points can be removed from your driving record for a handful of reasons including you have driven one year without a violation or suspension (3 points will be removed), you participated in a Defensive Driving Program (2 points will be removed), you participated in the Driver Improvement Program (3 points will be removed), or you participated in the Probationary Driver Program (3 points will be removed).
However, these reasons have stipulations and courses can only be completed a certain number of times over the specified time period which ranges from 2 years to indefinitely. In addition to incurring points on your driving record from reckless driving, you could face the following additional penalties:
- Between $50-$200 in fines as well as a maximum sentence of 60 days in the county jail for first-time offenders.
- Between $100-$500 in fines as well as a maximum sentence of 3 months in the county jail for second-time offenders.
You should have an experienced criminal defense attorney represent you
In a reckless driving case, the prosecution carries the burden of proof to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your actions were intentional in order to successfully prove a reckless driving case.
Our experienced criminal defense attorney has over 25 years of experience defending New Jersey drivers. Let us use our experience to get your reckless driving ticket dismissed and protect your driving history from the 5-point penalty and the loss of your driving privileges. Call us at (856) 310-9800 to schedule a free consultation today.