In New Jersey, reckless driving is a very serious traffic violation and can have severe consequences to one’s driving record. Reckless driving is defined as driving heedlessly, with wanton disregard of the rights and safety of others and endangering, or being likely to endanger, person or property. A charge of reckless driving is not only damaging to one’s driving record, but due to the dangerous conduct, a conviction can cost one both time and money.
Penalties for Reckless Driving in New Jersey
If a person is convicted or pleads guilty for reckless driving, he or she will automatically receive five points on their driver’s license. Many times when there is a charge of reckless driving, there will also be other citations issued along with it. These can easily reach six points or more. For example, if the driver has been cited for driving recklessly and was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or was speeding excessively, the penalties can be far worse.
If there are six points added to a driver’s license over three months, there will be a $150 fine plus $25 for every point that exceeds six. If a person has twelve points on his or her driver’s license at any time, the license will be automatically suspended in New Jersey.
For each year that passes with no subsequent traffic violations or suspensions, there will be three points deducted from the total. There are other methods to remove points from one’s license such as taking a defensive driving course (reduces the total by two points); a probationary driver program (reduces the total by three points); or a driver improvement program (reduces the total by three points). If you continually accumulate points on your license, the harder they will be to remove and the more likely you are to have your license suspended.
Jail Time and Fines are Possible for Reckless Driving
The penalties don’t stop with points on the license and a simple series of fines. Much of the punitive measures are up to the discretion of the judge. If a person is charged with reckless driving, there is the potential for up to sixty days in jail and/or a fine of at least $50 but not exceeding $200. In addition, if the judge determines that the individual is a hazard to the safety of people and property, the driver’s license can be immediately suspended for as many as ninety days.
For a second offense and conviction, the penalty can reach up to 90 days in county jail and fines between $100 and $500. The driver’s license suspension can range between one day and 180 days.
It’s not only a matter of having points placed on one’s license, running the risk of a suspension, and jail time. The ramifications for a conviction of reckless driving can also extend to an increase in the amount the person has to pay for insurance.
Contact an Attorney for Help with a Reckless Driving Charge
Have you been charged with reckless driving in New Jersey? If so, it is important to speak to a qualified and experienced attorney to defend your rights. As explained above, the litany of penalties that can be levied against a person convicted of reckless driving can range from fines to jail time, and that’s before the other consequences such as a suspended driver’s license and the significant increase in insurance rates.
If you have been charged with reckless driving in a New Jersey town such as Asbury Park, Toms River, Wall Township, Belmar, or any other town in Ocean County or Monmouth County, contact Villani & DeLuca for a case evaluation. Call today!