How Will a Reckless Driving Ticket Affect My Insurance?
What is reckless driving? Unfortunately for the driver, in California it is at the police officer’s discretion to determine what is deemed reckless driving. It is defined under California law as driving with “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property” but it is left up to the officer to decide whether to issue this severe ticket. If you are convicted, you can face jail time and a large fine under CVC 23103, up to 90 days in jail, and up to $1000 in fines. Plus, you will have other aspects to contend with: your driver’s insurance and added points to your license.
Points for Reckless Driving
While many driving infractions only cost you one point under the Negligent Operator Treatment System or NOTS, reckless driving is not one of those infractions. A conviction of reckless driving in California will add two points to your license under NOTS, bringing you closer to a license suspension (CDL drivers can receive 3 points). If you have already incurred two points on your record in the last 12 months, you can be facing automatic suspension of your license if convicted of reckless driving. Plus, these points can remain on your license longer - up to 10 years or more.
Insurance Premiums and Reckless Driving
In California, if you have a reckless driving conviction on your record, you can expect to be paying higher insurance premiums for several years at the very least. Some may raise rates much higher or even cancel your insurance, depending on your previous record and the company’s policies. You could be paying thousands of dollars more each year for many years, costing you thousands of dollars above and beyond the fines for reckless driving.
Reckless Driving Attorney in California
You should never attempt to face a reckless driving charge alone. The cost in fines, points, and increases in your insurance premiums can be high, making it worth the investment to discuss your charge with an experienced traffic attorney. There are many defenses that can fight a reckless driving ticket and result in dismissal or reduction of the charge, minimizing the impact to your driving record and reducing the long-term costs of insurance.
If you received a reckless driving ticket in Kern, Tulare, Kings, Inyo, San Bernardino, LA, or other surrounding counties, contact Bigger & Harman for a free consultation to discuss your case. Call our office at 661.349.9300 or contact us through our web page.