Scottsdale Reckless Driving Lawyer

Experienced Maricopa County Traffic Law Attorney Committed to Keeping You on the Road and Out of Legal Trouble

In Arizona, being cited for reckless driving involves more than settling a fine and moving on. Reckless driving is considered a criminal offense, and a conviction could, in some cases, even lead to a jail sentence. Thus, if you’ve been issued a reckless driving ticket in Scottsdale, it’s important you speak with an experienced Scottsdale reckless driving lawyer before deciding how to handle your case.

With over twenty years of direct experience, the Law Office of James E. Novak specializes in defending the rights, freedoms, and driving privileges of individuals faced with serious traffic-related offenses.

The Definition of Reckless Driving in Arizona

Under Arizona Revised Statutes § 28-693, reckless driving is defined as operating a vehicle with “reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Of course, this definition hardly explains anything about what actually constitutes reckless driving. Largely, this decision is left up to the courts. For example, prosecutors bring charges whenever they feel they are appropriate, and it’s then the court’s role to determine if a driver’s conduct actually falls within the reckless driving statute.

A few examples of situations where courts have upheld a driver’s conviction for reckless driving include:

  • Excessive Speeding: Driving significantly over the speed limit, especially in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic or in school zones, can be deemed reckless.
  • Aggressive Maneuvering: Making unsafe lane changes, cutting off other vehicles, or weaving through traffic without regard for other motorists’ safety.
  • Ignoring Traffic Signals: Running red lights or stop signs or failing to yield the right-of-way, showing a blatant disregard for traffic laws and safety.
  • Driving Under the Influence: Operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs which significantly reduces the driver’s ability to control the vehicle safely.
  • Tailgating: Following another vehicle too closely, especially at high speeds, increasing the risk of rear-end collisions.
  • Street Racing: Participating in unauthorized speed competitions on public roads, which endangers all road users.
  • Distracted Driving: Engaging in activities that take attention away from driving, like texting, using a phone without hands-free equipment, or adjusting the navigation or entertainment system while moving.

Often, reckless driving involves one or more of the above; however, it’s definitely possible that you could face reckless driving charges based on only one of these dangerous driving behaviors.

Is Reckless Driving a Traffic Ticket or Crime?

In Arizona, reckless driving is considered a crime, not just a traffic ticket. Specifically, reckless driving is typically charged as a Class 2 misdemeanor for a first offense. This means that a Scottsdale reckless driving conviction can carry more severe penalties than a simple traffic infraction, including the possibility of jail time and a mandatory suspension of your driving privileges.

However, if you have any of the following serious traffic violations or crimes on your record, reckless driving is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor.

  • Vehicular negligent homicide,
  • Wrong-way driving,
  • Vehicular manslaughter,
  • Racing on the highways,
  • Driving under the influence (DUI),
  • Extreme DUI or
  • Aggravated DUI.

Additionally, when reckless driving is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor, you’ll be required to serve 20 days in jail and have your license suspended for one year.

Have You Been Charged With Reckless Driving in Scottsdale?

If you were recently arrested and charged with reckless driving, don’t risk your license and your freedom by pleading guilty. At the Law Office of James E. Novak, we have successfully handled countless reckless driving cases over the past two decades and know what it takes to beat even the toughest cases. We take a comprehensive approach to determining the best possible defense and then aggressively advocate on your behalf at every stage of the process in hopes of securing the best possible result as soon as possible. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation with our Scottsdale reckless driving lawyer today, call 480-413-1499. You can also reach us through our secure online contact form.