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What Constitutes Reckless DrivingThere are many things to consider when you look at how much a reckless driving charge will cost you in California. Although reckless driving is a misdemeanor and many people look at that as a minor thing, it is not! A conviction for reckless driving with or without alcohol or drugs impairing your judgment can stay on your driving record for ten years. That can change depending on the whim of lawmakers in the California Legislature.

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can assess points and remove points if you do not respond. You must request a hearing within very strict timeframes, as short as 10 days depending on the reason for the suspension, in order to avoid a suspension or revocation. If you win, you keep your license, if you lose, your license can be revoked or suspended by the DMV.

Any of the Following Could Be Considered Reckless Driving

· Excessive Speed or an exhibition of speed

· Drag racing on Public Roads

· Weaving in and out of lanes

It is the opinion of the arresting officer that determines what he believes constitutes reckless driving. However, it is up to the courts to decide guilt or innocence, unless you fold the tent and accept your fate. Whatever your circumstances, that is not advisable. You should consult a California traffic court defense attorney before making any decisions.

Is Reckless Driving a Misdemeanor in California?

There are certain elements that need to be met for the prosecution or state’s attorney to get a conviction of that offense. The elements of a crime are a test to see if the violation charged was a felony, misdemeanor, or just an infraction. When all the elements of the test are met for reckless driving, the driver can be charged under California law with a misdemeanor. Now let’s examine what makes up the elements of the charge.

What elements make up reckless driving in California

California Vehicle Code 23103 states that a person can be charged with this crime if they were driving a vehicle in a way that was a “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Those are the two elements that must be proven, the defendant was driving and did willfully disregard others’ safety and property. And the third element is, the crime must have taken place on a public roadway or in a private parking area.

While this may seem minor in comparison to other crimes or violations a person could commit; it is not one to take lightly. If you have been charged with reckless driving you will need a professional traffic ticket defender. Do not hire a divorce lawyer and expect the expert advice and counseling you would get from an attorney who only practices traffic violations.

What Are the Possible Consequences Under California Law?

If you are convicted of the charge, then you may be facing from 5 days to three months’ jail time. Not a very pleasant thought. Additionally, you could be looking at a fine of $145 to $1000. Now, you also should keep in mind that if someone was hurt or killed because of the offense or if you have a prior conviction for the same charge your penalties will be more severe, if convicted. There is also a possibility of civil liabilities for injuries and property damage.

If convicted, you move into a high-risk category, your insurance company will most certainly raise your premiums, if they decide to keep you as a client. Even if this was your first offense and you previously had a “good driver’s discount.” There are no laws that require an insurance company to grant you insurance; however, the court or DMV could require you to provide proof of insurance to reinstate your license. The court or the DMV could assess two points on your license for the charge. If you have a CDL license there could even be more severe penalties and higher points assessed.

Bigger & Harman, APC

Bigger & Harman are professional traffic ticket defense attorneys. They only practice Traffic Law. What does that mean to you? They are in traffic courts every day; they hear the arguments of other lawyers and know what works; they know the technicalities that have been recently used to get a dismissal; they know the judges, court clerks, CHPs patrol officer, sheriffs, and deputies. That means they know which officers to talk to before trial or how to approach a judge to get a dismissal or probation instead of jail time. If you have been accused of reckless driving, you are in serious hot water and you need knowledgeable representation to assist you in preparing documents and arguments that state your case. Call Bigger & Harman today, 661-349-9300 or email their office anytime and they will answer as soon as the office is open,

Reckless driving can lead to serious injury or even worse, wrongful death. Therefore, it is important to drive with care and be aware of other drivers while on the road.

En español, llame al 661-349-9755.

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