Reckless driving is a traffic violation you might be charged with if you are traveling at a very high speed, were driving at night without headlights when required, or engaged in any other action considered very reckless. If you are arrested and charged with reckless driving, you might wonder how serious the charge is and whether you might face a felony.
What Constitutes Reckless Driving?
There are several factors that the courts might take into account when determining if you are engaged in reckless driving. First off, they'll want to determine if your actions are more than a mere act of negligence.
They will look for evidence that you were deliberately acting recklessly. For example, if they believe you were thrill-seeking, your actions might be considered deliberate. For example, you might have been racing a car, which could have been considered intentional.
What are Some Examples of Reckless Driving?
The courts will also consider the severity of the weather. You are expected to show more care when there is poor visibility or on slick roads.
A common form of reckless driving is when texting and driving. This is criminalized in many states, and courts often crack down on motorists texting while driving.
Is Reckless Driving a Felony?
Reckless driving can be a felony under some circumstances. If you are charged with a felony, you might face imprisonment and hefty fines and be placed on probation. You might also have your driver's license revoked.
Whether or not you face a felony charge depends on the state where you reside and the judge. Therefore, hiring a criminal defense lawyer is crucial if facing a reckless driving charge. With a strong defense, you might be able to have your reckless driving charge reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. You may also face careless driving charges instead, which carry much less severe penalties.
Is It Possible to Have Reckless Driving Charges Reduced?
Depending on the facts of the case, you can have your charges dropped entirely and face no penalties. To have a better outcome with your reckless driving case, you must dispute the allegations you are facing.
A common defense is to argue that you were distracted and were not reckless. This defense only works if the type of distraction is legitimate. For example, if you were distracted by a deer running across the road or sped up to avoid it, this could justify your driving behavior. However, working with a criminal defense attorney is essential so you do not make arguments that hurt your case.
For more information, contact a criminal defense lawyer near you.