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What is Considered Reckless Driving in Los Angeles, Calif.?

Reckless driving is a traffic violation where the driver drives in disregard of traffic rules putting himself and others at risk. Reckless drivers are punished by jail time, fines, or more. If you have been in an accident caused by a reckless driver, contact Los Angeles car accident attorneys with El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers for help.

What is Reckless Driving?

Disregard for the safety of other people is the most common indication of reckless driving. A reckless driver knows that their driving habits are dangerous but continue to do so.  Some acts of reckless driving include:

  • Running stop signs or red lights
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Over speeding
  • Weaving to get through traffic
  • Tailgating
  • Braking suddenly
  • Street racing

Elements of Reckless Driving 

In California, reckless driving is a misdemeanor. Based on the California Vehicle Code Section 23103, a driver who drives a vehicle upon a highway in wanton disregard of the safety of other people and their property is a reckless driver. They may be imprisoned in a county jail for up to 90 days and/or a fine of up to $1,000. The penalties are high if someone was injured or killed. 

Under the California Vehicle Code § 23103, the elements of reckless driving need you to prove that:

  •     The defendant drove a motor vehicle
  •     They were driving on a public highway, street parking, or public road
  •     The defendant was driving with wanton disregard for the safety of other people or their property on purpose.

Wanton disregard means that the defendant was aware that their actions presented a significant risk and that the defendant ignored that risk. If you are convicted for reckless driving, two points will be added to your record and your license may be suspended. The conviction may increase your auto insurance premium rates. It can also come with a criminal charge such as a hit and run, DWI/DUI, and street racing. 

Wet vs. Dry Reckless Driving Charge

If you are charged with a DUI, it may be reduced to a “wet” reckless driving charge. In such cases, you reach a plea bargain with the prosecutor. Work with your Los Angeles car accident attorneys to convince the prosecutor that their case against you is weak. 

Your DUI charge may be reduced even further to a “dry” reckless driving charge. This is a charge with no alcohol involved. However, the conviction will appear on your record and it carries a possible jail term, probation, or fines. 

Contact El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers

If you need the help of a personal injury lawyer, consider working with El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers. We will explain what is considered reckless driving and represent you if you are injured in a reckless driving accident.

You can get compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and property damage. We help our clients all through California get the justice they deserve. Our team has more than 30 years of experience and we are dedicated to helping you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.