Call Today 661.349.9300
Se Habla Español 661.349.9755
Protect Your Driving Privileges Fight Your Ticket With Bigger & Harman Today

How California Law Defines Reckless Driving

undefinedThe definition of reckless driving and the consequences for conviction vary from state to state. While some states may only give you a hefty fine, reckless driving is a misdemeanor crime in California, which can mean possible jail time. According to CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 23103Driving Offenses, “A person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.”

What is Reckless Driving in California?

In California, any driving behavior considered by law enforcement as a danger to people or property could get ticketed for reckless driving. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor criminal offense, in most cases, and can be a felony offense when injuries or death occurs. A conviction on a felony reckless driving charge could mean up to three years in jail. A judge, upon learning of a grave injury or death, could upgrade the charge to a felony.  

It is imperative always to obey the rules of the road when driving to avoid fines, penalties, and possible jail time. Always remember to drive defensively and not aggressively. Engaging in or responding to road rage is seen as reckless by law enforcement and could result in misdemeanor citations to the initiator or both parties. Tailgating can even get you cited in certain situations.

Avoid a Record - Hire an Attorney

Keep in mind that reckless driving in California isn't like other traffic citations. It is considered a misdemeanor crime, which means not only can you receive a hefty fine up to $2500. But, you could get assessed two Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points (four points within 12 months is a six-month suspension), which will result in a significantly higher insurance premium. You could get your car towed and impounded, and a possible court-ordered revocation of your driving license, but worse yet, you could end up spending up to six months in jail or receive two years’ probation. Your criminal record can result in a loss of employment and make future job opportunities more difficult to find.

California driving laws are stringent as well as specific, which makes it very difficult for an individual to fight this type of case on their own. It is crucial to hire an attorney experienced in misdemeanor cases and traffic law to have the best chance of avoiding a significant fine and jail time. 

While it is 100% the driver's choice to operate their vehicle recklessly, what about instances where their reckless driving was justifiable? If someone is speeding down the interstate well over the speed limit, weaving in and out of traffic to get someone to the hospital, should this still result in jail time and a record? What if someone was chasing them? These are examples of situations where an attorney can help you fight your citation and help you avoid the consequences of having a misdemeanor crime on your record. 

California’s reckless driving laws are among the strictest in the nation. You should consult with an attorney and hire one to represent you. It could mean the difference between a clean record and months in jail with a criminal record when you leave.

Kern County Criminal Traffic Ticket Attorneys 

When you get charged with reckless driving in Shafter, CA, in Kern County, it is not the time to try representing yourself or to let a family member fresh out of law school experiment with your future. You need tough, experienced representation you can count on to present your case to a criminal judge. Bigger & Harman have over a decade of experience representing Central Valley drivers in traffic and criminal courts.   

We have the knowledge and experience to defend you against misdemeanor or felony charges stemming from a traffic incident where a law enforcement officer considered your driving as reckless. The state must prove your driving was willful or wanton.” We will use our wealth of knowledge to dispute their argument and present a sound defense. 

We only defend drivers with traffic violations. Therefore, we have been in the courtroom to hear many similar cases and know which defenses judges have considered sound and which they have ruled against in like circumstances. That can work in your favor. Use our free phone consultation to discuss the specifics of your reckless driving charge.  

Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español 661.349.9755. 

Send an email to attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com.  

References:  

CVC 23103Driving Offenses