Reckless Driving Georgia
If you have been arrested for reckless driving in Georgia, it may help to hire a lawyer from The Waltman Firm in Marietta. Give us a call today for a full case review.
What Is Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving is a serious driving offense in all of the US. A reckless driving charge could mean thousands in fines and, at least in Georgia, jail time of up to one year.
A reckless driver is defined in Georgia as someone who drives with “reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property.”
The term reckless driving encompasses a wide range of dangerous driving behaviors, including:
Driving at excessive speeds or beyond the speed limit
Running red lights
Failure to yield to pedestrians or other drivers
Cutting other vehicles
Following too closely or tailgating
The following situations can also result in reckless driving charges:
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Reckless stunt driving or drag racing
Driving with unsafe equipment
If you have been charged with reckless driving, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer if you were injured or killed in the accident.
Georgia’s Reckless Driving Laws and Penalties
There is no standard for what constitutes reckless behavior. The prosecutor only needs to prove that the driver disregarded the safety of others.
Generally, reckless driving is a misdemeanor, meaning it is more serious than an infraction but less serious than a felony. A person convicted of reckless driving may be fined up to $1,000 or sentenced to jail for up to 12 months.
Additionally, the person may face additional penalties such as license suspension, community service, or probation. Reckless driving can also result in points on the person’s driving record.
In cases where reckless driving causes death or serious injury to another person, or if it is a repeat offense, it results in felony charges. Vehicular homicide and serious injury are punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
The best way to defend yourself against reckless driving charges is to hire a skilled misdemeanor lawyer.
Reckless Driving Convictions: Other Consequences
In addition to statutory Georgia reckless driving penalties, reckless driving convictions have consequences. Some of these consequences can last a lifetime.
- Four points under the Georgia point system: A conviction adds four points to the driver’s license of the person convicted.
- Driver’s license suspension: Those below 21 get automatic license suspension.
- Permanent criminal record: Reckless driving charges stay on the record forever. If you were convicted thereof, it would remain permanently on your criminal record. It may also not be expunged.
- Higher insurance premiums: Those convicted must pay higher insurance costs.
The Georgia Point System and Reckless Driving
The Georgia Point System is used to track and “rate” the severity of traffic offenses. The Georgia Point System awards points for each driving conviction ranging from 2 to 6.
Any violation worth 4 points will result in the suspension of a driver under the age of 21. Driving privileges for drivers over 21 will be suspended if they receive 15 points within 24 months. Also, having points on your license can lead to an increase in your insurance premiums and a suspension or revocation of your license.
Points remain on a Georgia driver’s record for two years. At the two-year mark after the specific date each point was added, they come off your driving record. If you receive multiple tickets at different times, some points may come off sooner than others.
A reckless driving offense is considered a serious offense and carries the highest points on your license. If you are facing reckless driving charges, call our experienced criminal defense attorney.
Call our firm today to learn more about our services, and we’ll walk you through the legal process.
What Defenses May Be Raised Against Reckless Driving Charges?
There are many defenses to reckless driving. The law does not specify standards or exact instances of reckless driving. What may be reckless behavior to others may not be reckless to you. So, it is up to your criminal defense attorney to prove that you weren’t driving with reckless disregard for the safety of others.
Some common defenses against a reckless driving charge are the following:
There was a roadblock that was not visible.
You were acting out of necessity.
There was a lack of clear and definite traffic signs.
There was a sudden unfavorable weather condition.
An unforeseen act by a third person caused you to act that way.
You have a faulty speedometer.
You were unlawfully arrested.
Let a Criminal Lawyer From the Waltman Firm Help You Deal With Your Reckless Driving Charge.
There is no clear definition of what constitutes reckless driving under the law. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can take advantage of this and help you prove that your driving was not reckless enough to warrant a misdemeanor charge.
Our law office is a veteran when it comes to defending reckless driving charges in Georgia. Contact us today for a free lawyer consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Police Officers Arrest You for Reckless Driving?
Georgia law permits police officers to stop and arrest you if the officer observes you to be driving recklessly. If the arresting officer can establish probable cause, it won’t be an unlawful arrest.
Can a DUI Be Reduced to a Reckless Driving Offense?
Yes, plea bargains for DUI are possible in Georgia. Most people charged with DUI can get their DUI charges reduced to a reckless driving charge by working out a plea bargain, or by presenting strong legal defenses.
The two strategies are closely linked. Strong legal arguments can generally convince prosecutors to offer more generous plea offers, including ones that involve a guilty plea for reckless driving.
A DUI charge may be reduced to one for reckless driving if the defendant meets the following criteria:
- They have no prior DUI convictions.
- Their criminal history is clean or almost clean.
- At the time of the arrest, they had a low blood alcohol concentration (BAC),
- Their driving did not result in an accident.
- They were over 21.
For more information about plea bargains and how we can help, contact the Waltman Firm.