Reckless driving involves driving with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. This is a gross misdemeanor offense. This means the punishment for a reckless driving conviction could include up to 364 days in jail, as well as a fine of up to $5,000. Additionally, a person will lose their driving privileges for at least 30 days. Depending on whether or not alcohol was involved, the courts may also require the installation of an ignition interlock device on a car for some length of time. If you have a prior alcohol-related conviction, there can also be additional penalties and consequences.
The Difference Between Negligent and Reckless Driving
The difference between reckless driving and negligent driving is a matter of degree. Driving negligently involves failing to use ordinary care. An example of this might be texting or emailing while driving. Willful or wanton disregard for others involves something more serious. An example of this could include putting the car on cruise control and taking both hands off the wheel to remove your sweater. Obviously, with your hands off the wheel and your vision obstructed, you display a disregard for the safety of others (and yourself).
If someone is charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI), sometimes an attorney can negotiate a plea to a reckless driving charge. Additionally, an attorney may be able to negotiate a reckless driving charge down to a negligent driving charge. However, this is not always the case. In every criminal case, the results are based on the facts and the law.
Charged with Reckless Driving?
If you have been charged with reckless driving, call Vinny Randhawa. Vinny practices in the Seattle area, including Snohomish County, Pierce County, and King County. For answers to your reckless driving questions, call (425) 228-2202.