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How Does Speed Contribute to Reckless Driving?

According to CA Vehicle Code 23103, Reckless Driving is “A person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property…” Remember, it is the law enforcement officer’s (LEO) opinion whether your speed was reckless or not and once the LEO issues the ticket, it is at the judge’s discretion whether you are guilty. If you have been charged with a reckless driving ticket, contact a traffic ticket attorney who regularly practices in Fresno County for legal advice and counseling before you decide to just pay the fine.

Speeding on I-5 and Highway 99

Both I-5 and Highway 99 have various speed limits depending on the local engineering surveys conducted of the area. Some places on I-5 and 99 even dip to 35-40 mph because of the dangerous grades and curves, while in other places where there are four or more lanes in both directions the speed can go up to 70 mph; however, trucks, busses, and some other vehicles are limited to 55 mph on all CA freeways, including that recreational vehicle or trailer you may be hauling.

Reckless Driving Tickets and Speeding

Is there a correlation between speeding and reckless driving? If you’re caught at speeds of over 100 mph and convicted, that will get you a two-point violation under the DMV’s Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) and a warning suspension letter. NOTS issues automatic warnings and notifications in CA depending on your level of NOTS points. You are only allowed four points within a twelve-month period, before your driver’s license will be suspended for six months and you will have a twelve-month probationary period that runs simultaneously with the suspension. Of course, you can request a DMV Hearing and have an attorney represent you at the hearing before your suspension.

Any other violations or accidents could lead to a longer suspension period during the probation and any violation during the suspension will get you another ticket for driving while under suspension, which is a misdemeanor crime, depending on the reason for the suspension. In addition, CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 22348 gives the traffic court discretion to automatically suspend your driver’s license for 30 days if convicted.

Speeding over 100 mph is not just reckless driving, it is a reckless financial act as well. If you are convicted or just pay your fine, it will cost you anywhere from $900 minimum to over $4000 depending on your previous driving record with speeding. What’s worse is your auto insurance premiums will skyrocket, if you can find an insurer. Insurance premiums doubling or tripling after a 100+ mph speeding or reckless driving conviction is the norm rather than an exception.

There is a mandatory court appearance for either you or your attorney and don’t even think about taking a traffic course to limit your liability for NOTS points; it is not allowed.

Fresno County Court

When it comes time to pay that fine or contest your reckless driving ticket, you or your attorney will need to show up at traffic court. The Fresno County Courthouse is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located at 2317 Tuolumne Street or 1100 Van Ness Ave. With the New Traffic Quick Pay Window, paying traffic tickets online is easy with one-time or scheduled monthly credit card payments, although there is an additional admin fee for using a credit card and you must pay a minimum of ten percent of your fine initially.

Don’t get caught unaware when you’re cited for reckless driving. Keep in mind that anything 35 mph over the speed limit could be considered driving recklessly, and if you don’t get in an accident, you could still find yourself having to pay a huge fine; remember to stay safe out there and stay alert.

Consult a Central Valley Traffic Lawyer

Just because you got a ticket for reckless driving does not make you guilty. The reckless driving law leaves a lot of room for interpretation by law enforcement, you should consult a local Central Valley traffic ticket lawyer about your situation because if you just pay the fine you are guilty of a misdemeanor criminal offense, which will stay on your driving record for 7 to 10 years and your criminal record for life. When you consider the $1000 or more in fines, double or tripled insurance fees, NOTS points, and possible jail time, you should seriously consider hiring Bigger & Harman to represent you in traffic court.

Call Bigger & Harman, 661-349-9300 to discuss your reckless driving or other traffic ticket or email: attorney@markbigger.com

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