In New Jersey, reckless driving is a serious offense, with the potential for five insurance points, as well as five points on your driving record. You won’t risk the automatic loss of driving privileges if you are convicted of reckless driving, but the court has the discretion to temporarily take away your license. In addition, the points you receive can lead to the suspension of your driving privileges, a fine of up to $200 and up to 60 days in jail.
There’s a common misperception that you can only be charged with reckless driving if you are intoxicated at the time or if you are traveling in excess of a certain number of miles over the speed limit. While those situations may result in a reckless driving charge, the prosecutor has discretion to charge you with this offense if it can be shown that you drove “heedlessly in willful or want disregard for the rights or safety of others,” or that you were consciously aware that your driving posed an unreasonable risk to the general public. Accordingly, you can be charged with reckless driving even though there was no one near you. The simple fact that no one was actually put at risk of serious injury does not mean that your driving wasn’t reckless.
Reckless driving is often confused with careless driving. With careless driving, it must only be shown that you were negligent, but with reckless driving, the prosecutor must show either intent or willful disregard of your own safety and/or the safety of others.
Contact the Law Offices of Mallon & Tranger
To learn how we can help you in a criminal matter, contact us online or call us at 732-702-0333. There is no charge for your first meeting. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.