Reckless Driving in Charlotte

Reckless driving is a traffic ticket that you should take very seriously.  A wide variety of actions on the road can be charged as reckless driving.  The text of the law states, “Any person who drives any vehicle upon a highway or any public vehicular area carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others shall be guilty of reckless driving.”  As you can see, this law is written very broadly.  The law goes on to say that, “Any person who drives any vehicle upon a highway or any public vehicular area without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property shall be guilty of reckless driving.”  This part of the law makes speeding well in excess of the speed limit fall under reckless driving.

The statute reads, “Reckless driving as defined in subsections (a) and (b) [these are the two blocks of text cited above] is a Class 2 misdemeanor.”  Therefore, while most traffic tickets are infractions, reckless driving is a Class 2 misdemeanor.  You could face a fine of up to $1,000, and anywhere from 1-60 days in jail, depending on your record.  A conviction for reckless driving will also result in 4 points on your license.  If you accumulate 12 point on your license within 3 years, your license will be suspended.  If your license has been suspended because of points and has been reinstated within the past 3 years, you can only accumulate 8 points before your license will be suspended again.

In addition to the points on your license, you will also receive points on your insurance.  A conviction for reckless driving results in 4 insurance points.  This can result in an increase in your insurance premiums of up to 80%.  These effects will last for 3 years.  Clearly, the effects on insurance are a huge aspect of the punishment for this offense, and they should not be taken lightly.

With a reckless driving charge, it is possible to lose your license even without enough points on your license to have it revoked under the point system.  There is a statute that empowers the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles to take your license when you commit two of certain types of violations within a 12 month period.  The statute reads, “The Division shall have authority to suspend the license of any operator with or without a preliminary hearing upon a showing by its records or other satisfactory evidence that the licensee, within a period of 12 months…  [h]as been convicted of… one or more charges of reckless driving and one or more charges of speeding in excess of 55 and not more than 80 miles per hour…”  This means that if you have a charge of speeding in excess of 55, and you get a reckless driving conviction, then you can have your license revoked.  On the other hand, if you have a reckless driving conviction, then you had better make sure you are traveling within the speed limit, because one conviction of speeding in excess of 55 will result in the revocation of your drivers license.

If you have been charged with reckless driving, there is a strong likelihood that you have a ticket for another offense.  The resolution we can get for your case depends on the how bad the reckless driving was alleged to be, and the seriousness of the additional charge or charges.  Another factor is your record; if it is clean, then you have a much better chance of getting a favorable resolution.  If, on the other hand, it is filled with convictions, the Assistant District Attorney may be less willing to negotiate.

If you have an attorney, most of the time, you will not have to worry about going to court.  This will save you the hassle and time of taking time off of work to go sit in court and wait for your case to be called.  In the rare event that you do have to come, an attorney can make sure that your case is reached quickly, shortening the amount of time that you have to spend in court.  In addition, you will have an attorney that understands traffic laws and how they effect your case.  A lawyer can negotiate on your behalf to try to reduce your exposure to harsh punishments.

If you have been charged with reckless driving, you need to take care of the charge.  If you ignore it, thinking that it will go away on its own, you are going to create more problems for yourself in the future.  Addressing the charges now will help you avoid a late fee of $200 and the potential that your license will be revoked for even longer.  If you continue to get DWLRs, you could be facing a permanent revocation of your operating license.  Even though it is called a “permanent” revocation, in fact, you can often try to get your driver’s license back after three years.

If you have any questions about your case, please do not hesitate to give us a call.  We would be glad to discuss your case and the options that you might have.  We would be honored if you would choose our law firm to represent you.

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