23103 A VC and Reckless Driving Charges
Vehicle Code 23103 A, or 23103 A VC for short, is the statute that regulates reckless driving in the state of California. Breaking this law can result in very strong consequences if convicted. If you have been charged under 23103 A VC, you should hire an attorney immediately to fight for your interests in court.
Vehicle Code 23103 A and Reckless Driving
This law bans reckless driving in California. However, what is reckless driving defined as? Unfortunately, the law is actually extremely vague. It simply suggests that any person that is driving with “wonton disregard” for the safety of others is breaking the law. This leaves the question of what wonton disregard actually is. In most cases, it should probably be considered disobeying the regular rules and norms of driving on the road to the point it poses a danger to other drivers or pedestrians. Despite this, certain activities like speeding typically are not classified as reckless driving. That is of course unless the speed used was so high that it was out of the norm for other speeders.
Due to the vague nature of the law, a lot of discretion is given to highway patrol officers. Even when the charge is given, the officer has discretion in how it can be done. The charge could be given in the form of a ticket that a person must respond to. Alternatively, the driver could be arrested and hauled off to jail. This of course depends on the circumstances of the incident. If a driver is drunk, for example, he or she will not be allowed to drive home.
How Is Reckless Driving Punished in California?
In California, reckless driving is classified as a misdemeanor. However, it is also a crime that results in harsher penalties for each consecutive conviction. For the first conviction of reckless driving, a person can except to receive a 90 day jail sentence, have their car impounded for a month, have their license suspended for a month and receive few thousand dollars in fees. A second conviction can result in 6 months in jail and a one year driver license suspension. However, the first conviction could be punished as severely if someone was injured in an accident stemming from the reckless driving.
Our Law Firm Can Help with a Reckless Driving Charge
Being convicted of this crime can result in things like jail time, huge fees and even a one year license suspension. It can certainly have a huge negative impact on your life. This is why hiring an attorney that does indeed have experience with reckless driving charges is important.
There are indeed ways to mount a successful defense in such a case. For example, if you were not actually the driver of the vehicle, you cannot be convicted of this crime. There may also have been circumstances that necessitated how you were operating your vehicle such as some kind of emergency. Overall, you need a quality attorney to present a proper defense to the jury.
California Vehicle Code § 23103 refers to reckless driving. Drivers may be found guilty of committing reckless driving under multiple circumstances, and some drivers may willingly choose to admit to reckless driving when faced with more serious charges. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the potentially confusing legal complications associated with a charge of reckless driving.
Specific Definitions of Reckless Driving
Reckless driving occurs when a driver demonstrates a “willful or wanted” lack of regard for the safety of people or property. Violations can occur while you are driving on a highway or other public road, but you may also be found guilty of committing reckless driving while driving in off-street parking facilities.
Minimum and Maximum Punishments
The minimum jail term for reckless driving is five days in jail, while the maximum sentence is 90 days. You may also be required to pay a fine that can range between $145 to $1,000. The law allows the judge to decide the appropriate jail time and fine amount based on the specifics of your case.
Reckless Driving as a Plea Bargain Option
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, one of your available legal options may include pleading to a lesser charge of reckless driving. Probation times for DUI convictions are generally longer and the penalties for violating probation following a DUI charge can result in more jail time. If you violate a probation following a reckless driving conviction, the court can sentence you to no more than 90 days in jail, whereas the same violation following a DUI conviction can result in a sentence of six months in jail. Negotiation of plea deals are one area that you definitely want to have the advice and guidance of a qualified and experienced attorney. Without one, the prosecution may decline to offer you a plea deal at all.
Dry Reckless Versus Wet Reckless
In most cases, having your DUI charge reduced to a reckless driving charge will result in the actual charge of “wet” reckless which indicates that alcohol was involved in your offense. A charge of “dry reckless” is preferable because unlike wet reckless or a DUI conviction, a dry reckless conviction will not count against you as a prior DUI if you are charged with additional DUI charges in the future. If your consumption of alcohol was very close to the legal limit, a skilled attorney may be able to have your charges reduced to dry reckless instead of wet reckless.
If you have been charged with a DUI or reckless driving offense, it is important that you speak to one of our experienced attorneys right away. The sooner that you involve an attorney in your legal battle, the more likely it is that you will be able to avoid serious jail time and outrageous fines. Significant reduction of charges or outright dismissal may be possible with the help of a knowledgeable attorney, depending on the specifics of your case.