Most people know when they’ve driven recklessly or in a way that's dangerous to themselves or others. Still, for some the difference between a reckless driving charge can be as simple as the right police officer or the wrong one. For example, you’re speeding: when does your rate of speed become reckless? There’s a common misconception that a speed of 15 over the limit is enough to charge reckless driving. This is untrue. A person could drive 150 mph and still not be driving recklessly if certain conditions aren’t met.
Despite advances in auto technology, cars are still so dangerous that reckless driving is a serious crime. Anyone charged with reckless driving faces serious penalties. In Tennessee, whenever someone drives a motor vehicle in a way that poses a risk to others, it’s considered reckless driving. Unlike speeding or running a red light (traffic violations that can be definitively measured or photographed) reckless driving is more subjective and highly dependent on the circumstances of each particular case. Essentially, it’s the cop's word versus your's unless you have witnesses that will testify at court.
A judge is required to weigh a number of factors in a reckless driving case, but reckless driving is always more than just making a mistake or being negligent. A reckless driver willfully disregards safety. A prosecutor can secure a reckless driving conviction simply by proving that a driver knew or should have known that their driving posed a risk to themselves or others. Reckless driving can happen even if no one else is on the road or no property is damaged. To be convicted of reckless driving a driver need only to endanger themselves or their own property.
The penalties can be stiff if you're convicted of reckless driving so you’re going to need the help of an experienced lawyer. Possible penalties can include costly fines, probation, suspension of your driver’s license, community service and even jail time. Our law firm can handle your reckless driving case and fight to keep a conviction off your record.
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Balestrini, Barnes, Jaber & Wood, PLLC
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Memphis, TN 38104
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