If you've been ticketed (or arrested) for reckless driving, things just got serious. Reckless driving is not just another ticket like a violation for speeding or not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign. To understand why this type of violation is worthy of your attention, read on.
1. Most traffic tickets are issued for minor matters. Reckless driving, though, means that law enforcement decided your actions put others in harm's way.
2. Whether or not you are arrested for reckless driving depends on state laws as well as the totality of the situation. For example, if you are also accused of other connected violations, you can be arrested. In other cases, you may be released and given a summons to appear in court or to pay a large fine.
3. Some reckless driving matters are considered violations and some may be misdemeanors. Jail may not be part of the punishment unless the charge comes in connection with an accident with injuries or other serious matters.
4. Some typical infractions like speeding can rise to the level of a reckless driving charge if you were caught driving a certain amount over the posted speed limit.
5. Some common reckless driving infraction situations include:
- Excessive weaving from lane to lane.
- Going too fast given weather or traffic conditions (even if not technically speeding).
- Driving without headlights when needed.
- Fleeing from law enforcement (not stopping when the blue lights come on).
- Running stop signs and red lights.
- Leaving the scene of an accident.
- Driving while distracted with a cell phone or other distractions like eating, putting on make-up, etc.
- Failing to move over for ambulances, fire trucks, and other emergency vehicles.
6. You can expect some severe punishments for this category of moving violations. Some instances will place you behind bars and extremely high fines are common. If this is not your first reckless driving charge, you could be in danger of having your driver's license suspended. In some states that use the point system, you could find your auto insurance rates raised or even canceled.
The exact circumstances of your charge are of utmost importance. Law enforcement makes mistakes and you can and should fight against an unjust reckless driving charge. Don't just pay the large fine and take your punishment – you might not be guilty of the offense. Speak to a traffic lawyer about your reckless driving charge and have them find out what evidence law enforcement has to prove the case.