What is “Reckless Driving” in North Carolina?
- Driving Vehicle
- Willful or Wanton Disregard of
- Rights or Safety of Others
- Without Due Caution
- Without Due Circumspection
- Speed or Manner
- Likely to Cause Damage or Danger
- Any Person or Property
Don’t mess with a Reckless Driving Charge in North Carolina. The Courts take them seriously. . .so should you – Bill Powers
For instance, an individual driving 15 miles per hour over the speed limit in an area with a speed limit lower than 55 miles per hour can possibly be charged with reckless driving. This is straightforward enough. Other examples of reckless driving may not be as simple. With a reckless driving charge, drivers may find themselves facing fines, points on their licenses and possible jail time. Fines can vary, as can jail time, but the points attributed to a driver’s license for violating North Carolina traffic laws denoting reckless driving can usually hover around four. In some circumstances, reckless driving can potentially even lead to the suspension of a driver’s license, depending on the driving record of the individual in question.
Reckless Driving Charges in North Carolina
Those who have been pulled over for reckless driving can possibly face a criminal charge. An individual that has been convicted or plead guilty to a charge of reckless driving might have a criminal record for the rest of his or her life because it is a Class 2 misdemeanor. Reckless driving can bring with it similar punishments to other misdemeanors of the same class. Individuals convicted of reckless driving might even spend time in jail. For their first offense, the punishment could be no more than 60 days in jail with a maximum fine of $1,000. Some individuals that have been convicted of a reckless driving charge might even have their licenses suspended for a year. With four extra points on a driver’s license, a car insurance company might also increase an individual’s insurance rate.
Contact the Reckless Driving Attorneys at Powers McCartan
Many people may think that reckless driving is limited to driving that seems unsafe. However, intricate complications involved with a reckless driving charge may make this violation one of the more complicated traffic violations an individual can face. Understanding the rules and regulations involved with a reckless driving charge can be difficult. With the help of a North Carolina traffic attorney from Powers McCartan, however, individuals charged with reckless driving may have the Class 2 misdemeanor better explained to them. Powers McCartan’s experienced and empathetic lawyers can help you fight your violations to the best of their abilities.
Modified Transcription of “North Carolina Reckless Driving Charges” for the Hearing Impaired
Hi, I’m Bill Powers and I want to thank you for checking out our website. I encourage you to take a look around, watch some of our videos, get some information and then give us a ring! We offer free confidential consultation. That’s true whether it’s a felony case or a misdemeanor or a traffic case or driving while impaired. In this video, I want to talk to you a little bit about reckless driving.
Sometimes we refer to it as CNR, careless and reckless driving. Now, traffic offenses, sometimes people just don’t take them seriously and they pay the things off and they go to court and they think, you know, they listen to Uncle Freddy and Uncle Freddy said, “Oh, just go to the DA and tell them you’re a nice person, they’ll just drop the charges.” Sometimes that’s true, reckless driving is one of those traffic type of offenses where I tell people, “Take this a little bit more seriously.” It carries a little bit more points. Both motor vehicle and points. Both motor vehicle and what we refer to as insurance points. In North Carolina there is a difference, although they are interrelated. We have a lot of materials on the website regarding points, and the SDIP, which is the Safe Driver Incentive Program.
But reckless is one that we’re not talking about an illegal term. We’re talking about something that if an insurance carrier finds out there’s reckless driving, and you’re convicted of it, it’s going to be problematic at best. It may be expensive. Depending on however many other points you may have, and the nature and circumstances of the different charges, it can end up with some really dire consequences to your license itself.
Traffic law is deceptively complex. Everyone thinks it’s a simple traffic ticket, until they lose their driver’s license. I’m not saying on reckless charges you lose your driver’s license. What I am saying is this, that you cannot look at just that one charge without considering the overall record, prior history. We like to ask a bunch of questions on reckless driving. Frankly, sometimes, these are the type of offenses that are overcharged.
Give you an example, there’s a wreck. Someone’s just not paying attention. Someone’s hurt. Rather than just being charged with an unsafe movement, or failure to maintain lane control, or illegal left turn, or something of that nature, you’re all of a sudden whack. You’re charged with reckless.
We also see these offenses tied together with driving while impaired. It’s very common for people to confuse and conflate reckless and driving while impaired, thinking they’re interchangeable and they’re synonymous. I think that’s a mistake. In North Carolina, particularly, reckless by statute is not considered a lesser [inaudible 00:41:49] driving while impaired. We see reckless charges with impaired driving charges. We see reckless charges sometimes with really, really high speeds. The reckless is the speed, and the speed is the reckless. So when we see those type of cases, we kind of have to explain to the district attorney or the prosecutor the nature and circumstances of what took place. Other times it’s weaving in and out of traffic, crossing the center line, going a hundred miles an hour. It can be driving separate and apart from the speeding.
Reckless, generally speaking, is defined as likely to cause damage to persons or property. It’s a general term. It’s not meant to be nebulous, in the sense that it’s hard to define. It’s meant to include a lot of different type of behaviors. Heck, I had one time a person was reading his Bible while he was driving. And this was before the era of phones. Sometimes texting, sometimes driving a certain lane, a certain type of zone, it’s a shotgun type of a charge. It covers a lot of different things.
Either way, if you get a reckless ticket, give us a ring. We’ll take a look at things. We’re going to ask you questions about your prior driving history. Have you been in driving school? What your … try to figure out what your points are. Have you had any accidents? So we can tell you what we think the most appropriate way is to proceed. You don’t always have to hire a lawyer in traffic cases. It is important to delineate that reckless is one of those type of charges that yes, it’s a traffic ticket, but it’s also a misdemeanor. There are certain type of traffic offenses that carry traffic plus. Meaning that … carry potentially misdemeanor punishments. There are some type of reckless driving cases that, coupled with other behaviors, may indeed be a felony. Especially where there’s reckless and alcohol and someone gets seriously hurt or killed.
Our telephone number’s 704-342-HELP. And there’s a reason for that. We help people. We provide information. When it comes to traffic law, I like to tell people we’re kind of like the weather forecasters. We tell you what to expect in the system. If we can help you, we’re going to tell you we can help you. If we think you can handle it yourself, we’re going to tell you, “Hey, you might want to handle this one yourself.” But don’t assume that you can go to court and things are going to be peachy for you. There’s a reason we have lawyers in our system. It’s because problems develop.
Thank you for looking at our web page. If you have other charges associated with reckless, take a look around and then give us a call. I hope to hear from you.