Driving on the open and beautiful roadways of California is a privilege not a right. When you abuse this privilege, there are certain consequences that you will most likely have to endure. The worse the abuse, the harsher the penalties.
One way to seriously abuse your driving privileges is reckless driving. California Vehicle Code Section 23103 defines reckless driving as “a person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” If you are convicted on reckless driving charges under VC § 23103, you may face serious consequences, which we will discuss in more detail below.
5 Main Consequences of Reckless Driving
Below are five main consequences of reckless driving under California law:
- Hefty monetary fines. Depending on the extent of damages caused by your reckless driving, the fines you face may run into thousands of dollars. California does not enforce uniform fines. This means that the fines for reckless driving charges may vary from county to county.
- Penalties. California reckless driving laws do, however, impose uniform penalties for convictions of this charge. Typically, two points are added on your driving record for a reckless driving conviction. The length of time that these points remain on your records depends in large part by the severity of your offense. Different points are added for minors and individuals possessing commercial driving licenses.
- Jail time. Reckless driving is considered a misdemeanor in California. Nevertheless, a conviction may result in you getting jail time for up to 90 days for a first time offense, and up to 6 months for a repeat offense.
- Suspension or revocation of driving privileges. Another major consequence of a reckless driving conviction is the suspension or revocation of your driving privileges. In imposing this punishment, the authority making the decision will consider various factors, including the severity of your offense and whether you are a first‐time or repeat offender.
- Increase in insurance premium. If you are convicted on reckless driving charges, insurance carriers will generally consider you to be a high risk driver. This will in turn result in the carrier demanding a higher insurance premium for insuring your vehicle.
In addition to these five main consequences of a California reckless driving charge, you may also be at a disadvantage when applying for a job, loans, housing and other such things because the conviction can paint you as a careless and unsafe person.
If you or a loved one has been charged with reckless driving, you need to take every step possible to avoid a conviction. The best way to prevent a conviction is to hire a reckless driving defense attorney who is well‐versed with California traffic laws to help you get the charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
Call an Experienced Stockton Reckless Driving Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one has been arrested for reckless driving, it is important to seek immediate legal assistance. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with criminal defense attorney Gurjit Srai, please call us at (209) 323‐5558 or (559) 449‐1447, or complete our online form.