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Is Reckless Driving a Felony?

Depending on state law, reckless driving can be a felony or a misdemeanor. In California, if a third party — other than the reckless driver — is seriously injured in an accident, then reckless driving is considered a wobbler. A wobbler is a criminal offense that can either be classified as a felony or misdemeanor,  meaning reckless driving, in this case, wobbles between the two categories.

California Vehicle Code 23103 legally pertains to reckless driving. If you are facing a charge of driving recklessly, hire a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers to stand in for you, negotiate your plea, and seek to lower any jail time or fine. 

Misdemeanor vs. Felony

Driving recklessly is a misdemeanor whose punishment might exceed a fine. A police officer can give you a citation or arrest you and even take you to jail. Being a misdemeanor crime, reckless driving can, unfortunately, earn you a criminal record. A conviction for the same adds two points to your driving record.

In violation of California Vehicle Code 23105, you may be charged with felony reckless driving for causing serious injuries such as a concussion, broken bones, or brain injury on a third party. The legal penalties, in this case, would include, a fine not exceeding 10,000 dollars and/or a jail term not exceeding three years.

Common Examples of Reckless Driving

The following are examples of reckless driving which violate the California Vehicle Code 23103:

  • Driving your car on a sidewalk
  • Changing lanes recklessly through traffic lanes
  • Forcing a vehicle in the midst of a crowd
  • Ignoring stop signs and driving through red lights

Common sense and mere goodwill go a long way in helping a reasonable driver to avoid endangering the lives of other people.

Reckless Driving Legal Defenses

Our Los Angeles Car Accident Attorneys could go through a variety of strong legal defenses for you, including:

  • You were carelessly driving not recklessly driving. Even though both offenses are traffic violations, careless driving is a less critical offense which may cause the penalties to be considerably minimized.
  • Your act of reckless driving was necessitated by an emergency that appeared as a threat to the third party or even to you. As such you driving recklessly would not be intentional or willful.
  • You were being negligent when driving rather than being reckless. You may argue that other driving instructions were strictly adhered to by you, such as fastening your seatbelt.

Penalties Due to a Felony Reckless Driving Charge

Penalties for reckless driving vary from state to state. The punishments can include:

  • Points on a driving record
  • Imprisonment
  • Fines
  • Probation
  • Driver’s License revocation or suspension
  • Addition in insurance premiums

Charges of Watson Murder involve cases where someone is driving under the influence of and kills another person. It’s commonly referred to as DUI murder. The penalties for a person convicted of Watson Murder may include 15 years to life imprisonment.

Contact a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney

Have you have been charged with reckless driving, violating California Vehicle Code 23105 or 23103? It is wise to consult a skilled attorney at El Dade Ritter Trial Lawyers. We will strive to get your charges of reckless driving completely dismissed or reduced to a less offense.

Our attorneys will review your case-specific details which will only be possible once you reach out to us. Contact our offices by calling 888-544-1438 to schedule a free consultation.