While you might think that reckless driving is a minor issue, it can actually have serious consequences. Reckless driving is a lot more than just speeding. You can learn more about this charge here.
What is Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving is NOT just speeding, though speeding over 85 miles per hour can be one of the items specifically noted in the law for reckless driving. Unlike speeding, which is a motor vehicle infraction, reckless driving is considered a misdemeanor crime. The Connecticut statue (C.G.S. 14-222) states specifically, “No person shall operate any motor vehicle on any public highway…recklessly, having regard to the width, traffic and use of such highway.” It also lists four ways to be charged.
The four ways to be charged with reckless driving in Connecticut are:
1. Driving at a speed that endangers the life of any person other than the vehicle driver.
2. Driving at more than 85 miles per hour.
3. Operating a car or another vehicle with a commercial registration downgrade. This has to happen with the gears or clutch disengaged.
4. Knowingly operating a vehicle with a defective mechanism in violation of the reckless driving law.
Reckless Driving Penalties
The penalties for being convicted under this statue are serious.
Reckless driving is punishable by a fine of $100-$300, imprisonment for up to 30 days, or both for a first offense. A second offense means a fine of up to $600, imprisonment for up to one year, or both.
Because reckless driving itself is not defined further in the statue, there is some subjectivity to the totality of what the officer observes at the point of the violation. It is important to note that reckless driving is more severe then plain negligence itself. Basically, more than just an “oops.”
This means that when an officer observes someone on the telephone while driving, eating with poor vehicle control, or any other distracting behavior, they could be charged under this misdemeanor verses the traffic infraction.
Because the statute is so vague, many different issues could result in a reckless driving charge. You want to avoid such a charge in order to protect yourself from criminal charges. Again, this is more serious than a simple traffic ticket. A reckless driving charge could lead to jail time, which you of course want to avoid.
If you face this charge and you need help, feel free to reach out to our office. We can review your situation and help you understand what to do to protect yourself. We are happy to answer any questions that you have and assist you at this time.