A reckless driving charge is a serious matter. If you received a ticket for reckless driving, the potential consequences are probably a lot greater than you think. Don’t run the risk of losing your driving privileges or other penalties. Call us today to speak to an experienced Phoenix traffic lawyer about your reckless driving ticket.
Reckless Driving Attorney We are experienced criminal defense lawyers. If you are being charged with reckless driving , call us for a free consultation.
What is Reckless Driving in Arizona?
While reckless driving is thought of by many people as a “traffic offense,” there are significant differences when you compare it to running a stop sign, tailgating, or even speeding. It differs in the following respects:
- The evidence in a reckless driving case tend to be more complex, and involve more conjecture and subjective conclusions, than other traffic offenses.
- The penalties for reckless driving are more severe than for most traffic offenses.
To understand how evidence is used in a reckless driving case, it’s necessary to review the offense itself.
A.R.S. 28-695 defines reckless driving as driving in reckless disregard of the safety of people or property. “Reckless disregard” means that you were aware of a significant risk of injury or damage, that you were unjustified in taking the risk, and that it constituted a gross deviation from how a reasonable person would have acted. The phrase “gross deviation” is important. It requires proof of more than mere negligence.
There is no set of rules that will tell you with certainty whether or not a particular set of circumstances constitutes reckless driving. Exceeding the speed limit, for example, is a charge that can be measured; recklessness, on the other hand, involves your state of mind, and the proof (or lack of proof) will depend upon whether that state of mind can be gleaned from the surrounding circumstances. If you are convicted, however, you will face some serious potential consequences.
Classification and Penalties for Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is generally a class 2 misdemeanor. While that doesn’t sound very serious, the punishment could include:
- Monetary fine.
- Points on your license.
- Potential loss of license for up to 90 days.
- As a class 2 misdemeanor, the offense carries the possibility of 4 months in jail.
As in the case of DUI and many other offenses, the penalties can increase if you have a prior conviction for reckless driving within the previous 24 months. In that case, the classification moves up to a class 1 misdemeanor, and the penalties include a minimum jail sentence of 20 days (maximum 6 months), although it may be possible to participate in work/school release while serving your sentence.
With penalties like these, it makes sense to hire an experience attorney for your defense.
Defense of Reckless Driving Cases in Phoenix, AZ
There is no question that reckless driving is a serious charge. But the fact that you have been charged does not mean that you will be convicted. That’s where our firm comes in. We know what the prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, in your case. We also know that the offense requires proof that you knew of a particular danger, and consciously decided to ignore it. Finally, it requires proof that your actions represented a gross deviation from the way in which a reasonable person would have acted. In many cases, we can develop facts that run contrary to the allegations against you, and create reasonable doubt sufficient to defeat the prosecutor’s case. This could lead to a dismissal, a reduced charge, or a not guilty verdict.
At Feldman & Royle, we are experienced criminal defense attorneys. If you are facing a reckless driving charge, call us for a free consultation.
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2828 N Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85004