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New Jersey Reckless Driving Lawyer

Reckless driving is one of the most serious of traffic offenses, and the consequences of a conviction can be as severe as those associated with a DUI/DWI.

If you have been charged with reckless driving, an experienced criminal attorney can potentially help you keep your license. New Jersey reckless driving lawyers can assist you in trying to avoid costly fines and jail time.

Legal Definition of Reckless Driving

Reckless driving occurs when someone drives 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. The key to a prosecutor obtaining a reckless driving conviction lies in the heedless and willful or wanton disregard language. In order to win a reckless driving case, the prosecutor must prove that state of mind beyond a reasonable doubt.

One should not make the mistake of assuming that a reckless driving charge is not serious just because it did not result in an accident. A driver can be found guilty of reckless driving regardless of whether a person or property was actually harmed, and the penalties for a conviction can be the same.

Although reckless driving is serious, it is not an uncommon charge. Often reckless driving charges will be brought alongside charges for other serious traffic offenses such as DUI/DWI or excessive speeding. This practice gives prosecutors multiple opportunities to secure a conviction and may be used to pressure a defendant into accepting a plea bargain.

What are the Penalties for Reckless Driving?

New Jersey reckless driving lawyers know that penalties for depend on how many times someone was convicted of the offense. First-time reckless driving offenders will be sentenced to up to 60 days in jail or a fine of $50 to $200. In addition, the court may order the driver’s license suspended for up to 90 days. For each subsequent offense, offenders will be sentenced to either or both up to 90 days in jail or a fine of $100 to $500. For subsequent offenses, the court may order a driver’s license suspended for up to 180 days.

For each reckless driving conviction, a driver will be assessed five points on their license. Once the combined number of point on someone’s license reaches 12, the license will be automatically suspended. License points are also tied to insurance rates, and a conviction for reckless driving often results in a dramatic increase in motor vehicle insurance premiums.

Contact a New Jersey Reckless Driving Attorney

Most reckless driving charges begin with a simple traffic ticket no different from those you may receive for driving with a broken tail light or driving slightly over the speed limit. Drivers should not treat a ticket lightly.  Reckless driving is a serious crime with serious consequences.

A New Jersey reckless driving lawyer can help you limit those consequences or avoid them entirely, either by challenging the charges against you at trial or working with prosecutors to reduce the charges to something less severe such as careless driving, which carries less disastrous penalties.

Having a New Jersey reckless driving lawyer in your corner puts you in the best position to hold prosecutors to their burden of proof and to avoid the pitfalls associated with multiple charges and plea bargaining.