If you drive in New Jersey, it is vital to understand your rights and responsibilities on the road. One of the gravest traffic offenses in New Jersey is reckless driving. Reckless driving goes beyond merely breaking the speed limit or failing to signal. It is defined by New Jersey law as driving a vehicle heedlessly, demonstrating a willful or wanton disregard for the rights or safety of others, or in a manner likely to endanger a person or property.
Reckless driving can manifest in many ways, but here are three typical examples:
- Excessive speeding: Driving significantly over the speed limit is deemed reckless as it heightens the risk of accidents.
- Aggressive driving: Actions like tailgating, not signaling when changing lanes, or running red lights can all be considered reckless driving.
- Driving under the influence (DUI): Operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs is another form of reckless driving that endangers everyone on the road.
Understanding the distinction between these offenses is crucial, especially when facing charges. Unsafe driving involves committing a moving violation that puts people or property at risk but does not involve the willful disregard for safety that characterizes reckless driving.
In contrast, careless driving involves driving inattentively but without the intent to harm, which typifies reckless driving.
If you are charged with reckless driving in New Jersey, it does not signal the end of the road. There are defenses available:
- Challenging the prosecution’s evidence: This could involve questioning the reliability of the evidence or how it was obtained.
- Disputing the method used to record your speed: If your charge is based on speeding, you can question the accuracy of the speed-measuring device.
- Justification due to an emergency: If you were driving recklessly because of a genuine emergency, this might be used as a defense.
The penalties for reckless driving in New Jersey can be severe, including fines, imprisonment, or both. Furthermore, the court may also order the suspension of your driver’s license. The specific penalties hinge on the circumstances of your case and any prior convictions for reckless driving.
So, is it possible for a reckless driving charge to be reduced? In some situations, the answer is yes. This often involves plea bargaining, where your attorney negotiates with the prosecutor to reduce the charge to a lesser offense. These offenses carry lesser penalties and fewer points on your driving record. It is vital to have a skilled attorney who can argue your case effectively and potentially get your charges reduced.
Our NJ Traffic Ticket Lawyers at Ellis Law, P.C. Can Work to Keep You on the Road
Getting a reckless driving charge can be a frustrating and expensive experience. It can also lead to extra points on your license, increasing your insurance rates and limiting your ability to drive. To help you take swift legal action, speak with our NJ traffic ticket lawyers at Ellis Law, P.C. today. Call us at 732-702-6103 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Located in Freehold, New Jersey, we serve clients in Asbury Park, East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Long Branch, Neptune, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, Monmouth County, Marlboro, and Ocean County, as well as Brooklyn and New York City.