In United States law, reckless driving also known as driving under the influence of alcohol, is a significant driving infraction that usually includes driving under the influence of intoxicants such as alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications. Driving under the influence of these substances renders the driver legally intoxicated, which renders him/her incapable of driving. Being intoxicated cannot be considered as condoning reckless driving, however, it is not proven that drunk driving can necessarily result in a deadly accident. For drivers who have been arrested and convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or any other controlled substances, they might have additional charges that must be proven in order to obtain a legal defense to their charges.
The penalties for reckless driving depend on a number of factors such as the gravity of the offense and whether the offender was operating a vehicle. If the crime is considered less severe than other similar crimes, then the penalties will usually be less. Conversely, if the crime is extremely serious, then the punishment can be significantly more severe. Additionally, while driving under the influence of drugs or other substances can result in more severe fines, it may also mean that one will spend a portion of their jail sentence in jail and be required to complete drug rehabilitation. In the case of a first-time offender, or offenders who have prior criminal records, the penalties can be significantly more severe.
One of the primary ways that reckless driving is punished, especially by states such as New York, is through heavy fines. The amount of fines ranges greatly depending on the offense, the degree of involvement, and the circumstances surrounding the arrest. In some cases, drivers who are involved in serious accidents that were caused by other drivers will be charged with an extremely large fine. Other times, drivers who are simply reckless in driving may only be ticketed or fined. These fines are typically quite substantial and serve as a strong deterrent for future reckless driving.
Speeding laws are another area where reckless driving can have a significant penalty. For instance, a first-time offender who speeds through a school zone or busy highway may receive a minimum of a probation sentence in which they have to pay a substantial fine. Additionally, repeat offenders face harsher punishments. The majority of states have “zero tolerance” statutes, which means that if a driver is caught speeding, even once, they face a minimum of a one-day suspension from driving. Additionally, a judge may impose additional fines on top of the ones described above.
Apart from the obvious consequences, reckless driving can have far-reaching consequences on a driver’s insurance rates. Insurance companies examine a number of factors before determining a policyholder’s premium. Not only do they consider whether a driver has previous speeding tickets or accidents, but they also examine a driver’s credit score and criminal record. In many instances, these factors outweigh the effects of speeding, which means that a policyholder’s insurance rate can be substantially increased because of their reckless driving convictions.
As noted above, a conviction for reckless driving in most states can result in fines, jail time, or both. However, most drivers would not see this as an option. With some jurisdictions, the violations can be punished by as much as a year in jail, and in other states, more than a year. That is why it is important to hire a reputable defense attorney when faced with these charges. Only a highly experienced legal professional can ensure that you receive the best possible outcome for your case.