Reckless Driving

Dedicated Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer Aggressively Representing Clients Facing Serious Traffic Violations

When most people think of reckless driving, they think of a traffic violation. And while reckless driving is a type of traffic violation, it’s also a criminal offense that can carry the very real possibility of jail time. At the Law Office of James E. Novak, we have over 25 years of experience helping our clients who have been charged with reckless driving stay out of jail and stay on the road.

How is Reckless Driving Defined in Arizona?

Under Arizona Revised Statutes § 28-693, anyone who drives in such a way that they exhibit a reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. Of course, this definition doesn’t provide much guidance to motorists. However, most experienced Phoenix reckless driving lawyers would agree that prosecutors most often bring these charges when a motorist engages in one or more of the following:

  • Excessive speeding;
  • Cutting other drivers off;
  • Switching lanes without signaling;
  • Running red lights or stop signs;
  • Tailgating another motorist;
  • Brake-checking;
  • Driving the wrong way on a one-way road;
  • Failing to stop at a crosswalk; or
  • Intentionally using a vehicle to intimidate another driver, pedestrian or cyclist.

While each of these behaviors can result in a traffic ticket, the decision of whether to write up a ticket or charge a driver with reckless driving is left up to the arresting officer and the district attorney. Those charged with reckless driving face severe consequences if convicted and should consult with a Phoenix traffic violations lawyer as soon as possible.

Is Reckless Driving a Ticket in Arizona?

Yes and no. Reckless driving is a ticket; however, unlike other traffic violations, reckless driving is also a criminal offense. Therefore, drivers don’t have the option to pay the ticket and move on with their life.

How Many Points Does a Reckless Driving Conviction Add to Your Driver’s License?

If you are convicted of reckless driving, the court will send record of your conviction to the Arizona Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicles Division (“MVD”). From there, the MVD will add 8 points to your driving record. In fact, even if you are an out-of-state driver, the Arizona MVD will send record of your conviction to the appropriate agency in your state, and points will get added to your record according to your home state’s laws.

What Is the Penalty for Reckless Driving in Phoenix?

A first-offense reckless driving conviction is considered a Class 2 misdemeanor. In Arizona, a Class 2 misdemeanor is punishable by up to four months in jail, two years of probation, and a $750 fine. Additionally, the court may suspend your driver’s license for up to 90 days.

A reckless driving conviction is much more serious if you have a conviction for DUI, reckless driving or vehicular manslaughter within the past two years. In this case, reckless driving is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries the following penalties:

  • At least 20 days and up to six months in jail;
  • A fine of $2,500;
  • Up to three years of probation; and
  • A one-year driver’s license suspension.

Additionally, regardless of whether it’s your first, second, or third reckless driving conviction, you will have points added to your driving record and will need to disclose to any potential employers that you’ve been convicted of a crime.

Are you Facing Reckless Driving Charges in Phoenix?

If you were recently arrested and charged with reckless driving, it is imperative that you reach out to a dedicated criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Attorney James E. Novak is a respected Phoenix reckless driving lawyer with decades of experience defending the rights, interests and freedom of clients charged with all types of traffic violations. We also represent clients in DUI cases, DUI accidents, vehicular manslaughter cases and other vehicular crimes. To learn more about how we can help you beat the charges you face, give the Law Office of James E. Novak a call at 480-413-1499. You can also connect with us through our secure online contact form.