Reckless Driving – 4-96
New Jersey has various laws that were enacted to make the roadways safe for all drivers and passengers, such as the law prohibiting reckless driving. Thus, people who drive in an irresponsible manner face the risk of receiving a citation for reckless driving. A reckless driving conviction can result in serious financial consequences and may affect a person’s driving privileges. Leon Matchin is a Middlesex County reckless driving lawyer who is experienced at helping people charged with traffic violations navigate the New Jersey municipal court system. Mr. Matchin will work tirelessly to help you seek a favorable result. He frequently assists people charged with traffic violations in Middlesex, Monmouth, and Mercer Counties.Reckless Driving in New Jersey
In New Jersey, as set forth by N.J.S.A. 39:4-96, driving heedlessly, in wanton or willful disregard of the safety and rights of others, and in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger a person or property constitutes reckless driving. A person found guilty of reckless driving may be sentenced to imprisonment for no more than 60 days, and they may be fined $50 to $200. The court will determine whether to impose a fine, sentence the person to imprisonment, or impose both penalties. Additionally, a person found guilty of reckless driving will be required to pay court costs, and five points will be placed on the person’s driving record.
If a person is found guilty of a second or subsequent reckless driving offense, the person may be sentenced to imprisonment for up to three months and may be fined a minimum of $100, but not more than $500.
While the statute that defines reckless driving does not specifically provide for a license suspension, other New Jersey laws allow a judge to suspend a person’s license if the person willfully committed a traffic violation. Accordingly, a conviction of reckless driving may result in a license suspension as well. Considering the wide range of consequences that can result from a reckless driving citation, a driver should retain a knowledgeable reckless driving attorney in Middlesex County to handle their case.Defenses to a Citation for Reckless Driving
Unlike many other traffic violations, a reckless driving charge requires the prosecution to prove the mental state of the driver at the time of the alleged violation. In other words, the prosecution must show that the driver knew that the manner in which he or she was driving was likely to cause harm, but he or she proceeded to drive in that manner regardless. Therefore, a person charged with reckless driving may be able to avoid a conviction if he or she can show that the prosecution lacks sufficient evidence to prove that the person’s actions were undertaken willfully. Additionally, the prosecution must prove that the person’s acts posed a risk of harm. Therefore, a person charged with reckless driving may be able to defeat the charge if he or she can establish that his or her actions did not present a threat of injury or damage to any person or property.
Depending on the facts surrounding the charge, a Middlesex County reckless driving attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecution to have a driver’s charge reduced to careless driving. Although reckless driving and careless driving sound similar, from a legal standpoint, they are very different. Careless driving merely requires a showing that the driver was operating his or her vehicle in a careless manner. A careless driving conviction will result in reduced penalties and two motor vehicle license points. Thus, in some cases, it may be beneficial for a person charged with reckless driving to agree to plead guilty to careless driving.Speak with a Capable Traffic Violation Attorney
Reckless driving is a serious charge that can come with grave penalties. If you are charged with reckless driving, you should assess your legal options. Leon Matchin is a trusted attorney who can develop a strategy to provide you with a strong chance of obtaining a successful outcome under the facts of your case. Mr. Matchin advocates for people who have been cited for traffic violations in Middlesex County, as well as in Monmouth and Mercer Counties. Mr. Matchin can be reached through the form online or at (732) 887-2479 if you want to set up a free consultation with a reckless driving lawyer in Middlesex County.