Are Reckless Driving Charges Criminal in New Jersey?
Many assume that aside from DUI charges, most tickets or violations are minor and that they will pay a quick fine before moving on. However, this is far from the truth, as the penalties for reckless driving can be severe. Understanding what lies ahead is vital when facing reckless driving charges. Keep reading to learn more about what you can expect and how a Bergen County, NJ reckless driving defense attorney can help you navigate this situation.
What Constitutes Reckless Driving?
It’s essential to understand that reckless driving is very different from careless driving, despite the fact that many confuse these two terms. Careless driving is generally when a driver is unaware that they are traveling in an unsafe manner. However, reckless driving is much more consequential as those who perform this action do so willingly and knowingly. They intentionally drive in an unsafe way, despite understanding the risks and dangers associated with their behavior.
Any behavior that endangers the safety of others, such as racing, excessive speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, failing to stop for pedestrians, or driving the wrong way on a highway, can all constitute reckless driving charges.
What Are the Penalties?
If someone is pulled over for reckless driving, they aren’t simply administered a ticket. Though they will receive a ticket, New Jersey treats this offense like a crime. Those charged with reckless driving face up to sixty days in jail, and a license suspension. Though this will not appear on a criminal record, it will show on an MVC abstract. Similarly, because this charge does not appear on a criminal record, it can never be expunged despite the fact that many employers will request an MVC abstract during the hiring process.
Aside from these penalties, you will also have five points issued against your license, pay a minimum fine of $50, and will likely experience an increase in your insurance premium.
What Should I Do if I’m Facing Charges?
If you are facing a reckless driving charge, ensuring you contact an attorney as soon as possible is essential to increasing your chances for a desirable outcome. Though you may think it’s easier to simply accept the penalties and move on, this charge can follow you for the rest of your life.
Instead, a competent lawyer can examine all evidence surrounding the violation in order to create a possible defense. For example, there may not be sufficient evidence to warrant a conviction, the officer may not have collected evidence legally, or the charges against you aren’t strong enough to stand up in court.
At the Law Offices of Richard E. Novak, we understand the severity of these charges. We will do everything possible to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your unique situation. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you navigate these circumstances.