If you drive in a way that puts other’s safety at risk, you could face substantial fines, incarceration, and a permanent mark on your driving record. A Short Hills reckless driving lawyer could assist you if you have charges against you and guide you through the legal process to minimize the penalties you may face.
Our traffic violation attorneys could work hard to protect your rights and help mitigate or eliminate any ensuing fees and penalties.
New Jersey law defines careless driving as a person who heedlessly operates a vehicle with willful disregard for the safety of others or their property. Many circumstances could result in a charge like this, including but not limited to:
Law enforcement has broad authority to determine whether to charge someone with reckless driving after they pull the driver over. A skilled Short Hills reckless driving attorney could determine what the charge was based on and help to lower potential penalties.
Because the driver must have acted knowingly and willfully to be convicted with a careless driving charge, the penalties are more severe than those for regular traffic tickets. A first offense of operating a vehicle recklessly carries a maximum jail sentence of 60 days and a fine of up to $200. If a motorist is convicted a second time, they could face three months in jail and a fine of up to $500.
In addition to imposing criminal sanctions, a judge could assess up to five points on the motorist’s driving record. Insurance companies monitor records and points due to an operating a vehicle carelessly charge will likely result in higher insurance premiums.
New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) could suspend the motorist’s driving record and require them to seek reinstatement in the most severe cases. To determine whether to suspend someone’s license, the NJMVC may consider several factors including the:
Losing a driver’s license can impact someone’s daily life by making it difficult to transport themselves from one place to another. A careless driving attorney in Short Hills has experience with the NJMVC and could represent an accused person at a suspension hearing.
There are several defenses available to a driver accused of carelessly operating a vehicle. If the officer did not follow proper procedure, a judge could dismiss the charge. Additionally, if evidence was lost or mishandled such as the video recording from the police car, the prosecution may decide not to move forward with the case.
Another strategy to avoid severe penalties like this is to plead guilty to a lesser charge, such as improper passing or obstructing traffic. A conviction on a lesser charge usually carries fewer criminal penalties and less jail time. An attorney familiar with defending reckless driving charges in Short Hills could explain available rebuttals and represent the accused person in court.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, a minor traffic violation could result in an additional charge for operating a vehicle carelessly. Excessive speeding, highway racing, or driving under the influence of alcohol are all examples of intentional acts that puts others at risk.
If you are convicted of a crime like this, the financial and criminal ramifications could impact all aspects of your life in the years following a charge. Contact our experienced Short Hills reckless driving lawyers today if you have been charged with this offense.