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Reckless driving: A potentially dangerous and costly mistake

When you get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle you are expected to follow the rules of the road. Even if you consider yourself a safe driver, there may be times when you break the law. For example, you speed down the highway when you're late and in a hurry to reach your destination. We've all done it, right?

Reckless driving is a serious offense that's defined as a willful disregard for safety and/or the operation of a vehicle in which you have no regard for the consequences of your actions.

Reckless driving is a big deal for two reasons:

  • When you partake in this behavior, you increase the likelihood of an accident, which can cause injury or death to you and/or others on the road
  • The penalties associated with reckless driving can be severe

The best way to avoid injury and penalties is to avoid reckless driving at all costs. Doing so means understanding the common forms of reckless driving, which include the following:

  • Excessive speeding, typically categorized as 25 miles per hour (or faster) over the speed limit
  • Racing other vehicles on public roadways
  • Attempting to elude a police officer, such as during a traffic stop
  • Passing another vehicle on a two-lane highway with a solid line

All of these things increase the risk of an accident. For example, if you illegally pass another vehicle, there is risk of a head-on collision.

Penalties for reckless driving

Penalties for a reckless driving conviction can include: large fine, incarceration and license suspension.

In Hawaii, for example, anyone convicted of reckless driving can receive a fine up to $1,000 and/or be sentenced to a maximum of 30 days in prison.

What to do next

Although you may be charged with reckless driving, there is no guarantee it will result in a conviction.

There are many defense strategies you can use in court to prevent a conviction, thus allowing you to avoid a punishment.

If you're facing this violation, don't wait a single day to learn more about your legal rights. The more you learn up front, the easier it becomes to implement a defense strategy that will give you the confidence you require as your case moves through the court system.

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