Say you have a bad driving record with all of these charges, and you have a conviction for drag racing and one for careless driving and now you are charged with reckless driving. You are going to have a hard time convincing the prosecutor and the judge that you are a really good driver and that you deserve a break and some leniency. So the worse your record looks, the more danger you are going to be in when you are in court. The judge and the prosecutor look at their job as protecting the public, and if they see a poor driving record who, in their opinion, disregards the law, they are afraid to give you a break. Their thoughts are that eventually you might get in an accident and kill somebody.
They do not want these problems to land back on their doorstep and have somebody blaming them for not being tough enough on you. There are a lot of factors that go into the final outcome of these cases, and people need to understand that the judge’s point of view is not always the same as theirs. If you do have a bad driving record whether you are going to court for a ticket, a misdemeanor, or a felony, you need to be concerned about how you are going to be treated.
What Are The Penalties Associated With A Reckless Driving Charge?
Penalties associated with reckless driving are a specific statute in Michigan. It falls under MCL 257.626 which coincidently comes right after the drunk driving statute which is 257.625. If you are convicted of reckless driving you will automatically receive six points on your driving record, and the Secretary of State will suspend your driver’s license for ninety days. And for those ninety days you cannot have any kind of restricted license. No appeals to the circuit court either, nothing at all. If you receive a second reckless driving within seven years, your driver’s license is actually revoked, and you cannot even try to get it back for a minimum of one year.
It is a pretty significant charge. Fortunately, we have had many instances where we have been able to reduce that charge of reckless driving down to some type of civil infraction. This merely means a couple of points and no license penalties with a fine only and no jail or probation time. We have been very successful at reducing those charges to non-criminal matters over the years.
What Are Other Consequences Associated With A Reckless Driving Conviction?
Because of the criminal misdemeanor, reckless driving is punishable by up to ninety-three days in jail. And it can be punishable by probation which can be up to two years. So in essence the judge has complete discretion on what to do to anyone. They can put them in jail, place them on probation, require them to do drug and alcohol testing, require them to go into counseling, require them to do community service, take classes, or anything that the judge feels is rationally related to the facts and circumstances of that particular case. It is a crime you do not want to be convicted of. There are a lot of negative consequences and uncertainty based upon the judge’s discretion in all reckless driving cases.
Are Reckless Driving Cases Involving Minors Handled Differently?
Some minors are on what is called a graduated license which is sort of the initial phase of getting a driver’s license in Michigan. Kids who are in that period of time are more or less on probation to the secretary of state. For them to get a reckless driving offense will raise much more serious consequences than for an experienced driver who maybe does not have those kinds of problems on their record. So the younger you are, the more collateral consequences there may be for a reckless driving charge.
Are Penalties Enhanced If The Reckless Driving Offense Resulted In An Accident?
Depending upon the nature of what happened, the charges can be much worse if the reckless driving resulted in an accident. If there was a fatality because of a reckless matter or even a negligent matter, extreme negligence, you can be charged with homicide, negligent homicide, manslaughter or something along those lines. So depending upon what actually happens, the charges can be different. You could have felonious driving, reckless driving or manslaughter depending upon the nature of the injuries.
What Are The Potential Defenses In A Reckless Driving Case?
The bad news about reckless driving is that the offense only requires them to prove that the driver drove in a reckless manner. The good news about defending that type of case is that the statute itself is general and vague, and it allows us the opportunity to create a defense to try and show that the client was not driving in a quote on quote reckless manner, but merely speeding or driving with less than perfect due care and caution. So in other words, we have the opportunity to create a defense that will demonstrate that the client’s driving does not rise to the level of reckless. That is most helpful.
Additional Information About Traffic Violations And Reckless Driving
There are a lot of consequences caused from accidents where people leave the scene, and most of the time they are charged with a misdemeanor traffic offense. What people do not realize is that the courts frown on those charges because they always assume that the person got away with something more serious that they were hiding at the time of the accident. If you are involved in an accident and leave the scene and charges result, you definitely want to obtain legal help. You could accidentally walk into a court thinking that you do not have a charge that is serious and end up being treated exactly how you would have been treated if you were convicted of drunk driving. So one of the most important things is just to remember that any time you receive a traffic misdemeanor, the court has full discretion to punish you any way they see fit.
For more information on Impact Of Bad Driving Record, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (248) 451-2200 today.