A person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. (Vehicle Code 23103(a)) A conviction of reckless driving is punishable by between 5 days and 90 days in County Jail or a fine of between $145 and $1,000, or both. It also adds 2 points to your license, which could result in a negligent operator license suspension.
To be convicted of reckless driving, the D.A. must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver operated a vehicle and that he or she intentionally drove with wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. A driver acts with “wanton disregard for safety” when 1) he or she is aware that his or her actions present a substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm, and 2) he or she intentionally ignores that risk. The person does not, however, have to intend to cause damage. If it is concluded that the individual drove faster than the legal speed limit (speeding) that fact by itself does not establish that the person drove with wanton disregard for safety. The driver’s speed, along with all of the surrounding circumstances, are considered in determining whether the reckless driving defendant drove with wanton disregard for safety.
Reckless driving can serve as an alternate negotiated plea disposition to a DUI charge (Vehicle Code 23103). A “dry reckless” or a “wet reckless” can be a so-called lesser related offense to a DUI and an experienced DUI attorney sometimes can obtain a favorable plea agreement to reckless driving on your behalf, instead of a DUI.
If you have been charged with reckless driving, please call Oakland DUI and Criminal Attorney Robbi A. Cook for a free consultation, at (510) 208-5051