Reckless driving tickets are some of the most commonly issued tickets across southern New Jersey. However, despite their commonality, these tickets are nothing to take lightly. If you are convicted of reckless driving you may find yourself facing fines, points on your license, and even jail time. In addition to these serious consequences, prosecutors across the state have taken an aggressive stance in pursuing reckless driving convictions. That is why if you have been charged with reckless driving in Galloway Township, you should contact an experienced attorney who will work diligently and tirelessly for you to have your charges reduced or dismissed.
What does the State have to Prove to Convict you of Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving is a fairly common traffic ticket that officers give after they pull a driver over. This charge often comes along with other charges such as speeding, or drunk driving. While many people feel that reckless driving is not something they should be concerned about, to the contrary, reckless driving is a major traffic violation. However, before any driver in New Jersey can be convicted of reckless driving, the state must first prove the following elements:
- A person who drives;
- A vehicle;
- Heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard for the rights or safety of others – driver must be consciously aware that his actions pose risk to the public;
- In a manner that endangers or likely to endanger;
- A person or property.
There is a very similar traffic violation in New Jersey, careless driving, that drivers often confuse when they have been charged with reckless driving. However, while these charges are similar in many ways, there is an important distinction and one that changes the potential penalties. Reckless driving is that with this violation a person “knowingly” or “purposely” endangers himself and others on the road while a careless driver is merely negligent without any bad intent.
What are the Penalties for a Reckless Driving Charge in Galloway Township?
If you were pulled over by an office in Galloway Township and walked away with a reckless driving ticket, you may think that you got off without any major consequences, and that all you have to do is pay a fine or maybe go to court. However, reckless driving is a serious traffic offense in New Jersey and the court has broad discretion to impose any of the following penalties:
- Fines – for a first-time conviction of reckless driving in Galloway Township, or anywhere else in New Jersey a driver can expect to pay a fine of up to $200.00. If you are convicted of reckless driving a second time then you may be subject to a fine of up to $500.00.
- License suspension – Driving your car is not a right but a privilege. Many drivers throughout the state and indeed the country need their cars to get to work, that is why it is important to never take a reckless driving charge lightly.
- Jail – Some drivers think that because of the potentially small fine that a driver has to pay if they are convicted of reckless driving, that it is not something that they need to really be concerned about. However, the judge who will oversee your case has rather broad discretion to impose sanctions. One of the most severe is jail. If you are convicted of reckless driving a judge may sentence you to up to 60 days or almost two months in jail for your first offense. If you are tried and convicted of reckless driving for the second time, then the judge has the authority to send you to jail for up to 90 days or close to three months.
The biggest mistake a Galloway Township driver can make is to walk into Municipal Court after receiving a reckless driving ticket and think that they are not at risk of facing fines and even jail. Another penalty that is often unforeseen by drivers is the consequence and impact of having points added to your license. A driver who is convicted of reckless driving can have up to 5 points added to their driver’s license. This can cause insurance premiums and payments to skyrocket.
Our Galloway Twp. Reckless Driving Defense Attorneys Can Help
If you are facing reckless driving charges after spending time in the Atlantic City area, the strategic and experienced lawyers of the Law Firm of John J. Zarych can fight for you. We 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.