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Reckless Driving

Experienced Attorneys Ready to Fight for You

Maryland has a severe reckless driving problem; reckless driving is one of the most common misdemeanor charges brought in the state. People are often surprised to learn of the penalties that follow reckless driving, as they incorrectly believe that it as a minor traffic citation. While the financial repercussions may not feel immense, we strongly suggest that you reconsider, as the charge of reckless driving could affect you in a number of ways in the future.

Penalties for Reckless Driving

You could incur the following consequences when being charged with reckless driving:

• 6 points on your driving record

• Mandatory Driver Improvement Program

• Maximum $1,000 fine

• Jail time is possible alongside other citations

• Increased insurance costs

• Revocation or suspension of your license

• Misdemeanor criminal record

How is Reckless Driving Determined?

In Maryland, reckless driving is not defined by the amount you exceed the speed limit. Instead, it is defined as “if the person (1) drives a motor vehicle (2) with blatant or shameless disregard for the safety and health of other people or property, or in a manner that indicates such outrageous disregard for the safety of others or property.” You can be charged with a reckless driving in any of the following situations: speeding, drunk driving, failing to yield or even driving without a license. An easy way to assess if you are driving recklessly is to ask yourself if you are unnecessarily endangering your own or someone else’s life. Determining if you are driving recklessly is entirely up to the officer’s opinion.

Is Negligent Driving the same as Reckless Driving?

No, these are two different kinds of charges. They do have commonalities; however, negligent driving is the lesser offense. A person is considered guilty of negligent driving if “He drives a motor vehicle in a careless and imprudent manner that endangers any property or the life or person of any individual.” Negligent driving also carries a lesser fee and is subject to only a point on your driving record. The big difference between the two is the wanton factor of reckless driving. Wanton means that you were driving the vehicle willfully knowing the consequences and damage that could be done.

What Happens after I Receive a Traffic Citation?

Once you receive a reckless driving citation, which may be issued along with further citations from the officer, you have 30 days from the date of issue to request a trial or to pay the citation. If the citation isn’t paid or you have not requested a hearing, the MVA will suspend your license

for failing to comply. It is very important that you remember that if you hire one of our attorneys to represent you for reckless driving, YOU DO NOT PAY THE TICKET. If you are thinking about hiring one of our attorneys, or did already hire one, and paid your ticket, you will be pleading guilty and will not be given a trial date.

Should you find yourself in this predicament, remember that reckless driving is, fortunately, not considered to be a felony in Maryland, but instead a misdemeanor in the transportation code.

Defenses for Reckless Driving

Our attorneys consider all possible defenses with every Maryland Reckless Driving client that they represent. They are experienced and effective advocates for fighting reckless driving cases at trial. Some of the possible defenses include:

• Rather than reckless, was the driver negligent, careless, or distracted?

• Was the driver driving reckless out of necessity?

• Did the officer personally calibrate the speed detection equipment? If not, are the calibrations legally sufficient?

• Has the speed detection equipment’s calibration been performed within 6 months of the date of the alleged reckless driving?

• Did the officer get the reading within their jurisdiction?

• Did the officer testify as to the jurisdiction where the reckless driving happened?

• Does the calibration presented at the trial match the instrument the officer used?

• Did the officer charge the reckless driving correctly on the summons?

• Does the officer have a calibration certificate for the method he used to get the speed rating?

How to Help Your Case

With cases of very high speed, a reckless driving by speeding charge can also run the greatest risk of a license suspension and jail time. With the risk of a license suspension or jail time, it is important to remember that there are some things you could do to prepare for court that could mitigate any potential punishment. This mitigation would be discussed with your attorney to decide what are the best options for your case. There are several possibilities that include:

• Completing a driver improvement course and/or an aggressive driving course.

• Performing community service

• Calibrating your vehicle’s speedometer to see whether there is a difference between the speed your speedometer says and the actual speed

• Bringing personal reference letters in your support

When facing charges for reckless driving in Maryland, it is important to have an experienced reckless driving attorney who will help you navigate your charge to avoid these penalties and reach the best outcome for your case. Although each case is highly dependent on the particular facts and circumstances, our attorneys will help you reach the best possible outcome to protect your license, reduce the fines, and avoid jail time. In court, the judge decides between the

officer’s opinion of your driving and an attorney’s defense. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you hire one of our experienced attorneys, if you did get a citation for reckless driving, as the outcome could affect not only your insurance costs and driving record but also your job hunting in the future.

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