Reckless driving is a misdemeanor crime in New Jersey. For a person to be convicted of this offense, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was driving with willfulness and wantonness with no regard to others safety or property.
New Jersey Reckless Driving Penalties
If convicted of driving recklessly in New Jersey, a person can face severe consequences or punishments. The extent of punishment and consequences is dependent upon circumstances surrounding the charge and the magnitude of any injuries or damage that occurred. The harshest penalties for this offense are listed below.
Driver's convicted of reckless driving for the first time can include fines of $50 to $200 and up to 60 days jail time. However, if a driver has a similar offense in the past, the fine can increase to $500 and increase jail time to 90 days. Second time offenders can also accrue up to 5 points on their driver's license.
If a driver is charged with driving recklessly, a defense attorney may be able to strike a plea bargain with prosecution to a less severe charge. For example, drivers may plead guilty to speeding to avoid a reckless driving charge. Another option in this situation is a careless driving charge. A careless driving charge is a less grievous version of the previous and has reduced point accruals and fines. The definition of careless driving under New Jersey law is driving without due caution that poses a danger to others or property. Examples of careless driving include swerving, speeding, tailgating, and similar bad driving behavior. The ability to access a plea bargain requires you to have a knowledgeable defense attorney. A proper attorney will help determine whether a client should take a plea bargain or proceed with the case.
New Jersey drivers that are charged with reckless driving may have several defense options available to them. For instance, the following infractions in themselves are not sufficient to warrant a driving reckless charge.