Detroit Traffic Lawyers Explain
Reckless & Careless Driving
Reckless Driving Tickets
In Michigan, reckless driving is a criminal traffic offense. This means you can face criminal penalties, including jail time, as well as administrative action, such as license suspension.
Michigan’s Compiled Laws, 257.626, defines reckless driving as operating a motor vehicle in a manner that shows willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other drivers, passengers, pedestrians or property.
Obviously, you can be issued a reckless driving ticket on a highway or road – but you can also get a reckless driving ticket if you are driving on any other place open to the general public, including a parking lot or even a frozen lake.
Reckless Driving Ticket Penalties
In Michigan, reckless driving is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in prison and a fine of up to $500. If you are convicted of reckless driving, there will also be an automatic license suspension possible for length of not more than one year. Conviction of reckless driving results in 6 points on your driving record.
The reckless driving statutes are very vague, and open to interpretation. Police officers frequently charge a driver with reckless driving in addition to other charges such as an OWI or speeding ticket. Drivers are also often charged with reckless driving when they have been involved in an accident.
Because of the severe nature of the reckless driving penalties – and because reckless driving charges are highly “subjective”- it is important to consult with an experienced traffic lawyer. A skilled traffic attorney can challenge the alleged “reckless” nature of your driving.
A good traffic lawyer may also be able to get the reckless driving ticket reduced to careless driving or a non-criminal traffic violation, such as speeding. Without legal representation of a lawyer, however, a reduction of the charges is much less likely.
Careless Driving Tickets
Careless driving is a lesser charge than reckless driving. In Michigan, careless driving is a civil infraction – not a crime.
Careless driving is defined as driving on a road or other place open to the general public (including parking lots & frozen lakes) in a careless or negligent manner that is likely to endanger any person or property.
While reckless driving must be intentional under Michigan law, careless driving can be committed with the driver not intending to cause harm. For example, if you were speeding and/or you unintentionally ran a red light, you did not intend to hurt anyone – but you still have put people and property at risk for harm.
Careless Driving Ticket Penalties
Careless driving is punishable by a fine of up to $100 and results in three points on your driving record.
What is considered careless driving is also “subjective”. Careless driving can be a stand-alone traffic offense (for example if an officer sees you tailgating or weaving in and out of traffic). It can also be added onto other charges, such as speeding. And it is frequently issued by police when there has been an accident.
Because careless driving carries 3 points – which can dramatically increase your insurance rates – it is important to consult with an experienced traffic lawyer.
Our Detroit Traffic Lawyers Can Help
Our Detroit area traffic lawyers have fought aggressively to help hundreds of people in the Detroit area fight their reckless & careless driving tickets – avoiding points that could result in increased insurance, license suspensions & big driver responsibility fees. Call our affordable Detroit area traffic ticket lawyers today for a free consultation, to see how we can help you fight your reckless or careless driving ticket.