Do not be mistaken being charged with reckless driving in Cape May is a major traffic offense and one that can impact your life for years down the road. Even though reckless driving is a major traffic violation, it is a surprisingly common and popular ticket for law enforcement offices to give.
If you are facing reckless driving charges, your defense can be greatly aided by the experience and knowledge of a seasoned Cape May reckless driving defense attorney. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal option, call the Law Firm of John J. Zarych by dialing (609) 616-4956 or contact us online.
What Constitutes “Reckless Driving” in Cape May?
Under state law NJSA 39:4-96, charges for reckless driving in Cape May can be imposed when any driver operates a vehicle in a “willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others” in a way that endangers or is likely to cause the endangerment of life, injury, or property.
Motorists who are convicted of a reckless driving offense are subject to harsh penalties that can affect their ability to drive and, potentially, their freedom. Anyone convicted of a reckless driving offense can have 5 points imposed on his or her license. Furthermore, while it is not mandatory, it is within the discretion of a judge to order the convicted offender to serve up to 60 days in county jail. A judge also has the discretion to impose a license suspension of one to 90 days. A fine can also be ordered.
Because many of the penalties are only imposed at a judge’s discretion, it is important that you put your best foot forward in court. You should be sure to explain any mitigating circumstances to the judge and invoke any possible defenses to the crime. In some instances, it may be possible to plead down to a lesser moving violation that does not carry points or that carries fewer points. In some circumstances, it may be possible to plead down to obstructing traffic or even unsafe driving. However it is important to note that safe driving does carry a fine of $400 and on the third conviction for unsafe driving within four years, four points will be assessed to the driver’s license.
Can I Lose My License for Reckless Driving in Cape May?
If a judge believes that your propensity to engage in reckless driving is a danger to the community, he or she can order a license suspension. Furthermore, any driver who accumulates 12 or more points on their license is also subject to a license suspension. Since a reckless driving conviction carries a significant number of points, an individual can quickly reach the suspension threshold. An experienced reckless driving attorney in Cape May can inform an individual of the effects a potential guilty plea or conviction will have on your ability to drive and your freedom.
Penalties for Reckless Driving in Cape May
New Jersey drivers often falsely believe that being charged with reckless driving will only amount to a ticket as a slap on the wrist. However, the Municipal Judge who has several different options when it comes to giving a driver a penalty. Some of the sanctions and penalties that a judge can impose on a driver convicted of reckless driving include:
First Offense Reckless Driving
If a driver in Cape May Courthouse is convicted of a reckless driving charge, then the judge has considerable latitude to impose a fine anywhere between $50.00 and up to $200.00. In addition to this fine, a person who is convicted of reckless driving runs the risk of going to county jail. The judge can impose a jail sentence of anywhere up to 60 days. The judge will often weigh many factors in reaching their decision, but drivers should not approach the courtroom lightly.
Second Offense Reckless Driving
Some people do not appreciate how serious a reckless driving charge is. Depending on the circumstances of your case a first-time conviction may not have been an issue in Court. However, in the event that you are charged a second time with reckless driving, the judge is more likely to impose a steeper fine and is allowed to impose a fine from $100.00 up to $500.00. As with a first time reckless driving conviction, a judge can sentence a driver to serve time in jail. However, when a driver is before the court on the second charge of reckless driving, the judge has more authority to impose a jail sentence and can send a driver to jail for up to 90 days.
In addition to the fines, the threat of possible jail time, and the potential to lose your drivers license. If you are convicted of reckless driving in Cape May you will also be assessed 5 Points on your driver’s license. The problem with points on your license that many people overlook is that these points can easily lead to an increase in your insurance rates which can amount to upwards of $5,000 over the three years after a reckless driving ticket. In addition, reckless driving tickets are usually given in conjunction with one or more additional traffic tickets, which can also carry their own penalties and fines in addition to a reckless driving charge.
Contact a Cape May Reckless Driving Defense Attorney If You Were Charged
If you are facing reckless driving charges after spending time in the Cape May area, the strategic and experienced Cape May reckless driving defense lawyers of the Law Firm of John J. Zarych can fight for you. Our Cape May criminal defense lawyers are experienced in standing up to prosecutors and will pursue a legal strategy that is likely to result in the reduction or elimination of the penalties you face. To schedule a free and confidential initial consultation for your reckless driving ticket or citation call our firm at (609) 616-4956 or contact us online today.