Reckless driving doesn’t sound like a major criminal offense, but as a misdemeanor, the potential penalties for reckless driving are much more serious than those for certain other traffic violations – including incarceration for up to 90 days and a fine up to $1,000. Criminal defense attorney Anna R. Yum represents individuals who have been arrested for or charged with reckless driving, by protecting their rights and working for the best possible outcome of their cases.
The District Attorney’s Burden of Proof
It’s one thing to be arrested by a CHP (California Highway Patrol) officer or police/sheriff for reckless driving; it’s another matter to be convicted of this offense. To convict you of reckless driving, the District Attorney must prove that you:
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- drove a vehicle on a highway or in an off-street parking facility, and
- intentionally drove with wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.
Wanton Disregard for Safety
There is some leeway for interpreting the terms “intentionally” and “wanton disregard.” The D.A. has to prove your intention to drive with wanton disregard – that is, that you:
- were aware that your actions as a driver presented a substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm, and
- you intentionally ignored that risk
However, the D.A. doesn’t have to prove that you intended to cause any damage.
Thus, simply making mistakes as a driver may not rise to the level of “reckless driving.” Ms. Yum will take the specific facts of your case and craft the best defense possible.
Other Driving Offenses Are Likely
In many cases, a reckless driving charge is accompanied by other criminal charges, such as DUI or offenses relating to property damage, injuries or fatalities. If someone was injured or killed as a result of reckless driving by you, or if you have prior reckless driving convictions, the penalties you’re facing are going to be increased.
More Consequences of Reckless Driving
In addition to a fine and potential jail time, a reckless driving conviction can lead to the addition of two points to your driver’s license, and the conviction can count against you in a later DMV hearing regarding a license suspension or revocation – and in other legal proceedings. Lastly, your vehicle insurance premium could be increased or even canceled due to a reckless driving conviction.
Contact the San Diego Law Offices of Anna R. Yum for counsel and representation regarding reckless driving matters.