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Is Reckless Driving A Serious Offense?

There are a variety of traffic offenses that can cause minor inconveniences, such as speeding tickets or “careless” driving infractions. However, the charge of “reckless driving” is much more severe and can have serious consequences.

Definition And Examples

Reckless driving is generally defined as “driving 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.”

Reckless driving charges are usually made when the behavior does not violate any other specific traffic law but is deemed by a police officer as a danger to others or property. The main differentiator between the more serious reckless driving charge, and the traffic citation of careless driving is intent. A reckless driver willingly endangers others. A couple examples of this include drag racing and weaving in and out of traffic at high speeds.

Penalties

In New Jersey, the consequences of a reckless driving conviction can be very harsh and vary based on the circumstances and the number of offenses.

A first offense can result in up to 60 days in jail as well as a $200 fine, while a subsequent offense can result in up to three months in jail and up to $500 in fines. In most cases, a reckless driving charge can also put demerits on your driving record and increase your insurance rates significantly. On occasion, it can also result in a suspended license.

A reckless driving conviction can have a severe and lasting effect, so it is important to take it seriously. If you are charged with reckless driving, an experienced New Jersey attorney can help you fight the charges and avoid the more serious consequences.

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