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Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex County Reckless Driving Lawyer

Reckless Driving in New Jersey

If you're ticketed for reckless driving in New Jersey, you can face a number of consequences including jail time and having your driving privileges suspended.

To start with, you'll have five points added to your Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) record. This could cause your insurance rates to climb by $500 per year. As these points add up, you may have even higher insurance rates and risk losing your license.

You'll receive a $200 fine and up to 60 days in jail for a first reckless driving offense. For a second or subsequent offense, you could be facing up to three months in jail.

Reckless driving is often charged as an additional offense when a driver is speeding or driving drunk.

New Jersey's Reckless Driving Law

In order to convict you for reckless driving, a New Jersey court must show:

  • You were driving a vehicle.
  • You were driving heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety or others.
  • You were aware that your actions posed a risk to the public.
  • You drove in a manner that endangered or was likely to endanger a person or property.

The difference between "careless" and "reckless" driving is that a reckless driver "knowingly" or "purposefully" engages himself or herself and others, whereas a careless driver is merely negligent but doesn't intend or know that he or she is likely to cause harm.

What kinds of driving are considered "reckless"?

Driving at a high rate of speed through a business or residential district is usually considered reckless. However, you may be found guilty of reckless driving even if you were within the speed limit at the time.

Passing or changing lanes in an unsafe manner may be considered reckless driving, especially if road conditions are wet or slippery or visibility is limited.

Beating a Reckless Driving Charge in Court

You don't have to passively accept a reckless driving ticket. You can request a hearing and try to beat it, or at least have the charges reduced.

Just speeding is not necessarily reckless. For example, if you're exceeding the speed limit in the middle of the night, on an empty, straight road far from homes and businesses, you may still get a ticket for speeding but you may be able to beat a ticket for reckless driving.

You or your attorney can argue that your driving was not reckless because:

  • No person or property was endangered by your driving.
  • Police failed to advise you of your rights or violated your rights.
  • You weren't actually driving while intoxicated; the testing equipment that measured your blood alcohols content was functioning improperly or used incorrectly.
  • The police investigation was flawed. For example, the police failed to document evidence to support your innocence.

At the hearing, you or your attorney may seek to have your charges reduced to a lesser offense, such as obstructing traffic, unsafe passing, or careless driving.

Our firm can help you with this process.

Get the individual attention your case deserves

The Law Offices of Marc B. Schram, P.C. serve Ocean, Monmouth and Middlesex county businesses and individuals. For experienced representation, call (732) 888-4400 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.

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