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Why You Need an Attorney for a Reckless Driving Charge

  • August 19, 2016

    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.

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