What Are Your Options If You’ve Been Accused Of Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is a serious crime in Arizona that comes with significant penalties. Arizona law defines reckless driving as operating a motor vehicle with a reckless disregard for the safety of other people and property. A conviction of reckless driving in Arizona is a Class 2 misdemeanor and can be punished with up to four months of jail time. If you’ve been charged with reckless driving, contact a Mesa criminal defense lawyer right away for representation and legal guidance.
What Is Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving occurs when a driver operates his or her vehicle with a reckless lack of regard for the safety of other people or property. Examples include speeding in a crowded neighborhood, swerving in rush hour traffic, and tailgating at excessive speeds. Reckless driving typically includes a traffic violation but is especially problematic because it affects the safety of other drivers, pedestrians, and passengers.
What Are The Penalties For A Reckless Driving Conviction In Arizona?
Arizona recognizes reckless driving as a Class 2 misdemeanor, which means a first-time conviction can be punished with:
Up to four months of jail time
Up to $750 in fines, plus court fees
Suspension of your driver’s license for up to 90 days
Defendants who have a criminal history or poor driving record will likely receive the maximum penalties. Subsequent reckless driving convictions within 24 months may result in a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries additional consequences:
At least 20 days and up to 6 months in jail
Up to $2500 in fines, plus court fees
Loss of driving privileges
If you’ve been charged with reckless driving in Arizona, it’s crucial to retain an experienced Mesa criminal defense attorney immediately.
In many situations, reckless driving is just one charge along with a similar crime, which may result in additional consequences and more severe punishments. These include:
Vehicular manslaughter, a crime where one driver kills another person through reckless driving.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI), an offense in which the driver is impaired by a controlled substance, alcohol, or illegal drugs, although this charge does not require that the person was driving recklessly in order to convict.
Racing on highways, which is always a Class 1 misdemeanor and involves driving a vehicle on a road in an attempt to race, make a speed record, or some other contest.
How Can A Criminal Defense Attorney Firm Help Me?
If you’ve been accused of reckless driving, you will be facing court along with a potential criminal conviction and serious consequences that can affect your ability to go to work or school. That’s why consulting with an experienced Mesa defense lawyer is crucial. Your attorney will provide legal advice, help you understand your options, and provide representation throughout the entire court process.
In order to be convicted, the district attorney will need to prove that you were the driver who was operating the vehicle and that you operated the vehicle in a way that showed reckless disregard for the safety of other people or property. The judge will examine the known facts, circumstances, witness statements, police reports, and other evidence to determine whether you were, in fact, driving recklessly, which includes endangering any property or person in a manner that created an unreasonable risk of bodily harm or promotes the high probability that bodily harm would have resulted from your actions.
Your Mesa defense attorney will examine the circumstances and build a defense on your behalf. Common defenses that are used in reckless driving cases include:
You were not driving recklessly: Certain facts or actions can be highlighted to prove that you may have been driving aggressively or violated a traffic law but were not endangering anyone.
You were not actually driving the vehicle: in order to be convicted of reckless driving, you must have been operating the vehicle. Occasionally, a defendant can prove that there was an error and that they were actually the passenger in a vehicle being driven by someone else.
You were responding to an emergency: In some cases, your attorney may be able to use the “necessity defense” and prove that you needed to make a dangerous maneuver in order to move out of the way of an emergency vehicle.
The circumstances of each reckless driving case are different, so your attorney will carefully consider the charges, situation, and evidence in order to build the best defense on your behalf. In many cases, your attorney can work to reduce the charges or penalties, and may even be able to have the case thrown out of court.
Accused Of Reckless Driving? Consult With An Experienced Defense Attorney In Mesa
If you’ve been accused of reckless driving in Arizona, you need legal guidance to promote the best possible outcome of your case. Schedule your consultation with Dove Law Firm. As a leading criminal defense firm in Mesa, we have extensive experience handling reckless driving cases and related criminal charges. Our attorneys are ready to build a tough defense and advocate on your behalf with a specialty in navigating complex cases. Contact our office today to schedule your confidential consultation and get legal advice you can trust.
This blog is purely for marketing purposes and should not be construed as legal advice.
Arizona Injury Lawyer
2650 E Southern Ave Suite 201
Mesa, AZ 85204
Phone: (480) 213-4489
Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer
10554 E Thornton Ave
Mesa, AZ 85212
Phone: (877) 368-3529