WHAT IS RECKLESS DRIVING AND WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES?
The traffic offense of Reckless Driving carries a mandatory driver's license suspension of 6 months and a minimum fine of $200. A reckless driving conviction also counts as a serious traffic violation that is subject to PA's habitual offender provisions. If you are convicted of three serious traffic violations in a 5-year period, your license will be revoked for 5 years.
Under Section 3736 of the PA Motor Vehicle Code, a person commits a reckless driving offense when they drive a vehicle in willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. To prove a willful and wanton disregard, the Commonwealth must establish that there was a substantial risk that injury would result from your driving, that you were aware of this risk, yet chose to drive your vehicle without regard for the safety of persons or property. Essentially, it must be proven that you knew there was a high probability that a motor vehicle accident would result from your driving.
WHY AM I CHARGED WITH RECKLESS DRIVING?
Reckless driving is most commonly charged in connection with a DUI offense, or for those involved in a car accident which caused injuries or property damage. You may also find yourself charged with reckless driving when you are excessively speeding, speeding during bad weather, tailgating others, or when a "near accident" results from your driving.
Furthermore, those who have acted disrespectfully towards the police may find that the officer retaliates by adding a charge of reckless driving to your citations. One Zuckerman Law Firm client was charged with reckless driving for attempting to make a lane change without seeing a police vehicle in his blind spot.
DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY?
Yes. Reckless driving is one of the most serious traffic tickets under PA law. It is also one of the most overcharged offenses. If convicted of reckless driving, you will lose your license, pay significant fines, and the citation will become part of your driving record, which is accessible by insurance companies when they renew your auto insurance policy.
When fighting a reckless driving ticket, you must remember that the officer who cited you is a trained, professional witness with many hours of experience testifying in courtrooms. Without a firm understanding of the rules of evidence and case law governing reckless driving prosecutions, along with prior experience cross examining police officers, you take a substantial risk when you represent yourself.
If you intend on fighting your reckless driving ticket, you are best served hiring a qualified traffic ticket defense attorney to assist with representation.
HOW ZUCKERMAN LAW FIRM CAN HELP
At Zuckerman Law Firm, our goal in each and every traffic case is simple: eliminate points and license suspensions while reducing fines. In fighting for the most favorable results, we prepare for your summary trial while working behind the scenes to negotiate the best possible resolution of your case. We can review your driving history, research case law, prepare cross-examination questions, and negotiate directly with the police officer on your behalf.
Zuckerman Law Firm has substantial experience defending those accused of reckless driving. Some of our most recent results on reckless driving cases are:
October 2018: Reckless Driving dismissed at summary appeals court.
October 2018: Reckless Driving offense carrying total of 6 month suspension and 5 years for habitual offender status, case reduced to Careless Driving at summary appeals court
October 2018: Reckless Driving and Failure to Obey Person Directing traffic charges dismissed at summary appeals court
August 2018: Reckless Driving and Disorderly Conduct, hearing held by magistrate, client found guilty of lesser Careless Driving charge.
February 2015 - DUI and Reckless Driving: Reckless driving withdrawn at preliminary hearing.
October 2014 - Reckless Driving: Not guilty after summary trial.
If you are charged with careless driving, get a professional on your side. Call Zuckerman Law Firm today at 412-447-5580.