Reckless Driving is defined as follows by § 1212 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law:
Reckless driving shall mean driving or using any motor vehicle, motorcycle or any other vehicle propelled by any power other than muscular power or any appliance or accessory thereof in a manner which unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public highway, or unreasonably endangers users of the public highway. Reckless driving is prohibited. Every person violating this provision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Reckless driving is a highly subjective law that functions as a catch-all for many separate infractions. An ordinary speeding violation in New York certainly could fall under the statute. In fact, even a cell phone violation could be considered reckless as talking on the phone while driving can put others on the road in danger. Individuals convicted of a reckless driving ticket are subject to both a misdemeanor conviction (resulting in a permanent criminal record) as well as 5 points on your driving record.
The financial consequences can be devastating for some. The maximum fine for a first offense is close to $400 and five points will be tacked onto the driver’s license. These points can make insurance rates skyrocket. It has been shown that people convicted of reckless driving may see as much as a 42 percent increase in their auto insurance premiums.
Our attorneys understand the subjective nature of this law and in most cases we are able to communicate our concerns to the District Attorney. Our goal is to minimize any potential damage a charge like this could cause. We will fervently fight to avoid any criminal convictions and, because there are significant points involved, fight to avoid those as well.