Reckless driving in Arizona is a charge which can come with some major consequences on your life. This could include jail time, high fines, probation, and loss of your driver's license. Without the ability to drive, you could lose your job and see a major impact on your finances.
If you have been arrested for or charged with reckless driving, an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney can help you with your case. Just because you are charged with a crime does not mean that you are guilty.
What is Reckless Driving?
Although a misdemeanor offense, reckless driving is considered a more serious crime than many other misdemeanors. Governed by A.R.S. 28-693, "a person who drives a vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving."
Some common examples of reckless driving include:
- Driving your vehicle at an extremely fast speed and well over the speed limit,
- Cutting off drivers,
- Swerving between lanes,
- Running stop lights or stop signs,
- Failing to stop at pedestrian walkways,
- Driving closely to another vehicle in order to intimidate another driver,
- Tailgating (following too closely),
- Driving in the opposing lane, or
- Driving dangerously fast based on weather or traffic conditions.
Penalties for Reckless Driving
The penalties for reckless driving depend upon whether you have been convicted of the charge for the first time or if this is a subsequent offense for the same charge within 24 months.
First Offense of Reckless Driving
A person convicted of reckless driving for the first time is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor charge. If you have no other reckless driving or other driving convictions which may count as priors (e.g. DUI), you face the following penalties:
- A maximum of up to four months in jail;
- A maximum of $750 in fines;
- Possible suspension of your driver's license for up to 90 days.
Second Offense of Reckless Driving
If a driver has been convicted of reckless driving within the last 24 months (or another conviction which counts as a prior,) reckless driving becomes a Class 1 misdemeanor. As a result, the driver faces:
- A maximum of up to six months in jail;
- A maximum of $2,500 in fines;
- Mandatory license suspension not to exceed one year.
You may also be required by the licensing agency to attend a defensive driving school (traffic school) before your driver's license will be reinstated. Without the ability to drive, you may lose your job.
Employment or Education
If a court receives confirmation that you are either employed or a student, the court has the discretion to allow you to continue your employment or schooling for up to 12 hours per day and not more than five days per week. You would then spend the remainder of your time serving your jail sentence.
The paperwork and request for this kind of permission can be complicated, but with the help of an experienced Arizona attorney, you are better able to protect your rights.
Consult a Reckless Driving Attorney
If you have been arrested for reckless driving, an experienced attorney at the law offices of Shawn B. Hamp can represent you in your defense.
We serve clients in Mohave, Yavapai, La Paz, and Coconino Counties, including the communities of Kingman, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Parker, Prescott, Williams, and Flagstaff, Arizona. Contact us today for a free consultation.