Careless driving and reckless driving are serious traffic offenses, even though they not considered “crimes” in New Jersey. They are, however, against the law and can carry fairly serious penalties. In other words: this isn’t just a traffic ticket. If you are facing charges like this, you need help.Charged with a crime in New Jersey? Please call (800) 673-3656
Often when I speak to clients about their reckless driving charge, they didn’t even realize that they had done anything wrong. Because there are many driving behaviors that can be categorized as reckless and even more that can be called “careless”, it’s not unusual to be surprised when you first get pulled over. Often these offenses are subjective about what is considered reckless.
In other cases, a momentary distraction or lapse in judgment while behind the wheel can result in a serious legal problem, and, if you are facing a license suspension, a real risk of losing your right to drive.
New Jersey Reckless Driving Laws
If you are accused of driving in “willful or wanton disregard” of the rights and safety of others in a way that is likely to endanger a person or property, you can be charged with reckless driving.
Your first reckless driving offense carries a potential 60 days in jail and $50 to $200 in fines.
If, however, you have faced a similar charge before, you could be sentenced to 3 months in jail and up to $500 in fines. In addition, you will get 5 points on your driving record for this offense.
Ref: NJ Stat. §39:4-96
New Jersey Careless Driving Laws
Careless driving is essentially a less serious form of reckless driving.
The law defines careless driving as “driving carelessly without due caution” in a way that might endanger a person or property. Swerving, passing, speeding, and riding too close to another car could all fit under this loose definition.
Careless driving is punishable by fines and 2 points on your driving record.
Ref: NJ Stat. §39:4-97
With the accumulation of points on your license, you stand to have your driving privileges suspended for a period of time. You may not realize just how important the ability to drive is until your license is gone. Don’t wait for that to happen to get help.
I have handled many reckless driving cases in New Jersey courts. I know how the law works and the potential outcomes. I also know that there are ways to beat a charge like this and, at the least, workout a way for you to avoid jail time.
If you are accused of driving recklessly and are uncertain of what your court date will bring, call me today to discuss the possibilities. Together we can talk about this charge and what it means for you.
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