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What to Know About Reckless Driving Charges

Motor vehicles are potentially dangerous even when operated in a safe manner. Therefore, the law does not look kindly on people who engage in reckless or unsafe driving habits. Anyone charged with reckless driving may face significant penalties, including suspension of their license, fines and, in some cases, jail time.

Reckless driving is any form of driving that poses a risk to others. A driver can be convicted of reckless driving for any type of driving behavior considered to be “unreasonably dangerous.” However, there does need to be an element of intent involved, as a driver must act with an “active disregard” for other people’s safety. Prosecutors should be able to demonstrate that a driver either knew or should have known the behavior in which he or she engaged was not safe.

Factors involved in reckless driving

How exactly does a prosecutor prove reckless driving on the part of a defendant? Courts will analyze a variety of factors when deciding what constitutes reckless driving in a given scenario. Some of these factors include the weather conditions, the presence of other people or animals on the road, the nature of the vehicle itself, the time of day at which the alleged reckless driving occurred and how familiar the driver was with the area.

In addition, a prosecutor does not need to demonstrate other people were actually in serious danger due to the driver’s behavior. A person could be found guilty of reckless driving even if no one else was on the road at the time, or if the behavior resulted in no property damage or injuries. The focus is strictly on the behavior rather than the result.

For more information on reckless driving charges and how to establish a defense, contact experienced Reading criminal defense attorney David R. Eshelman.


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