Facing a Reckless Driving Charge
No one wants to get a speeding ticket. The fines, the hassle of often dealing with license points, and the time it takes in the actual moment of incident to deal with law enforcement officials are costly in more ways than one. Driving even five miles over the posted speed limit in any area can result in being pulled over and handed a ticket—but if you are driving far faster than the speed limit, or in a manner that law enforcement determines is dangerous for yourself and other motorists on the road, you may be slapped with a reckless driving charge.
Reckless driving in Connecticut is considered a serious driving offense. Other serious driving offenses include improperly changing lanes, texting while driving, or following too closely. If you receive two serious offenses within three years, your license will be suspended for 60 days. If you receive three serious offenses within the same time period, your license is subject for suspension for 120 days.
The difficult thing about reckless driving is that unlike DUI or texting while driving, there is no delineated definition of what constitutes reckless driving. That is, determining whether or not a person is driving recklessly is at the discretion of the charging officer. There are certain elements that constitute reckless driving—such as driving more than 85 miles per hour. Generally speaking, however, reckless driving applies to any action that creates a substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm, and a conscious disregard for that risk. That is, it must be determined that a person was aware of the potential danger he posed to others while driving in such a manner. In other words, a person may be charged with reckless driving if it can be proven in a court of law that he had consciously disregarded the welfare of other drivers and passengers on the road.
As such, reckless driving is not the same as negligence—a person using a cell phone while driving may not be charged with reckless driving if it can be proven that he did so with the acknowledgment of the risk it posed to others. Similarly, a person speeding while driving under the influence may not be charged with reckless driving for driving under the influence alone, but the behavior when considered with other circumstances may result in a reckless driving charge.
If you or someone you know has been charged with reckless driving, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Contact an experienced Stamford criminal defense attorney today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.