Some people never learn.
Police cited 23-year-old Kyle Stampfli, of Novato, for speeding on the
southbound side of Highway 101 at 7:45 p.m. on a Friday, near East Blithedale
Avenue. Less than eight hours later, the next Saturday morning, Mr. Stampfli
was again cited for speeding on Highway 101, this time on the northbound
side near the Paradise Drive off ramp in Corte Madera.
After officers checked for signs of intoxication, Mr. Stampfli was ticketed
and released following his second violation.
VC 23103 is one of the most vaguely-worded statutes in the entire code.
It simply states that "[a]ny person who drives any vehicle upon a
highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property
is guilty of reckless driving." As a rule of thumb, authorities may
charge motorists with reckless driving if they commit three moving violations
within a short period of time. However, infractions that the officer considers
particularly dangerous, like cutting off other vehicles to exit a freeway,
can also be charged as reckless driving.
VC 23103 is a discretionary offense in Bakersfield, so the officer can
either give you a ticket or take you to jail. If you're convicted
of this misdemeanor, you can face up to 90 days in jail, have your car
impounded for up to 30 days and have your license suspended for up to
30 days. As if that wasn't enough, the violation will also cost you
two points against your license.
Courts in Kern County and elsewhere have consistently required the prosecutor
to prove intent; that is, there must be evidence that you intentionally
disregarded the safety of others. An attorney practicing in Fresno can
often argue the facts of the case to show that while you may have been
driving fast, you were not being reckless under the circumstances. In
fact, speed alone cannot justify a conviction for reckless driving. A
reckless driving can stay on your record for ten years and cause thousands
of dollars in additional insurance costs. So talking to a local experienced
traffic lawyer could be one of the smartest financial decisions you have made.