Reckless driving in North Carolina can mean a lot of things. From failing to yield to racing on public streets, it's one of the most obscure traffic laws on the books. But it could also shackle you with a criminal record. To understand how significant the “grey area” can be when it comes to reckless driving charges, just check out how the DMV defines the charge: “...carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others.” “...without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property.”
Those are some broadly defined terms, and that's what makes the criminal charge of reckless driving so hard to handle. The charge is obviously open to interpretation so you could find yourself fighting a losing battle if you don't have an experienced traffic attorney. Reckless driving ONLY is a class 2 misdemeanor. That's four license points and four insurance points. Not the end of the world, but... Combine that reckless charge with a little too much speed, and you could end up facing a Class 1 misdemeanor for speeding and reckless driving. That's MORE points, on your license and your insurance.
While it seems there are a concerning number of driving behaviors that could meet the vague criteria, there are a few that are always sure bets:
- Running a red light
- Running through a stop sign
- Illegal passing
- Swerving aggressively
- Failure to yield
The point here is to understand why the charges can be so difficult to defend. To keep it in perspective, consider that your first offense, for reckless driving ONLY can be a punishment of no more than 60 days in jail with a maximum fine of $1,000 for starters. Depending on how your driving is “interpreted” under the broad terms of the statute, you could have your license suspended as well.
Again, combine these charges with speeding, and you have upped the stakes significantly. Don't underestimate the impact of reckless driving charges. Get a seasoned traffic lawyer to help you navigate through these often confusing charges. The Jason Reece Law Firm in Charlotte, North Carolina knows how to “interpret” reckless driving charges and can help you minimize the damage these charges can cause. Call us or fill out this form to get the help you need.