Reckless Driving Attorney in Commack, New York
Make no mistake about it: reckless driving is an extremely serious offense in New York. It carries with it severe penalties, and a conviction could indefinitely stain your driving record. Reckless driving (VTL 1212) is considered to be one of the most intense tickets you can receive. It is commonly charged as a catch-all vehicular offense. Usually, drivers charged with this offense are facing allegations of running lights, speeding, improper lane changes, and other more minor traffic infractions.
Reckless driving is an unclassified misdemeanor which means that it, unlike a minor traffic violation, it can lead to a permanent criminal record. Also, depending on how reckless you were, you could go to jail for up to 30 days for a first offense, 90 days for a second offense, and 180 days for a third offense. This could make background checks in an already down economy yet another barrier to finding or keeping a job.
Aside from the criminal penalties, a reckless driving conviction will put 5 points on your driver’s license and you will incur a fine of up to $300.
Reckless driving will cause your auto insurance rate to go up tremendously. A recent study conducted by Insurance.com revealed that the average insurance hike amounted to an increase of 22% for a reckless driving ticket!
Their team of experts analyzed the top 14 most common traffic violations and discovered that reckless driving was the most costly violation while a mere seat-belt violation only slightly increased a person’s rate. The experts analyzed more than 490,000 insurance quotes given to drivers from 14 carriers from January 2009 through January 2011.
The analysis compared quotes that were given to drivers with the 14 most common violations and compared them with quotes given to drivers without any violations. The following is the list of results that they found and the answer to the question we all have been looking for:
Reckless Driving: 22%
Driving While Under the Influence—First Offense (DUI/DWI): 19%
Driving Without a License or Permit: 18%
Careless Driving: 16%
Speeding 30 Miles Per Hour Over the Posted Limit: 15%
Failure to Stop: 15%
Improper Turn: 14%
Improper Passing: 14%
Following Too Closely/Tailgating: 13%
Speeding 15-29 Miles Per Hour Over the Posted Limit: 12%
Speeding 1-14 Miles Per Hour Over the Posted Limit: 11%
Failure to Yield: 9%
No Car Insurance: 6%
Seat-Belt Infractions: 3%
Additionally, their team of experts constructed “The ‘Uh-Oh’ Calculator.” This ingenious device will determine how much you can expect your specific rate to increase for a traffic violation based on the uniquely tailored data you input.
You will be allowed to select your offense, the state you live in, your marital status, age, residence type, amount of years you have been with your carrier, and your yearly premium.
This new tool lends credence to what we have been telling you all along. Pleading guilty to a NY traffic ticket is simply not an option and trying to fight it alone is far too risky.
Remember, it is important to note that if you accumulate 11 points in 18 months, your driving privileges may be suspended. 5 points for reckless driving (i.e. violating VTL 1212) can cause you to reach the 11-point mark rather quickly.
Lastly, if you receive another ticket in conjunction with one for reckless driving in NY and a total of 6 or more points would go on your record, you will be required to pay a “Driver Assessment Fee” to the DMV. That amounts to $300 for 6 points and an additional $75 for every point above 6. Additionally, a conviction results in five (5) points on your license, auto insurance increases, and a fine. The court can also suspend your license and put you in jail.
Fighting a ticket for reckless driving in NY can be more challenging than a regular ticket since VTL 1212 is considered a criminal matter. Many district attorneys do not allow plea bargaining by mail and require an appearance in court. More importantly, judges and district attorneys are less flexible In addition, in 2011; the New York State Senate passed a bill to strengthen penalties for reckless driving and to create a new crime of aggravated reckless driving. The bill focused on dangerous driving by those who were drunk or high and drivers traveling in the wrong direction. Aggravated reckless driving would be a Class E Felony.
To be convicted of reckless driving, the prosecution must provide evidence showing more than mere negligence. Similarly, determining whether conduct rises to the level of “unreasonable interference” or “endangerment” requires the presence of “additional aggravating acts or circumstances beyond a single violation of a rule of the road.
I have successfully defended numerous reckless driving cases. In defending your rights there are several ways that I can apply pressure on the prosecutor to negotiate a dismissal of the charge or win your case in court. One good defense is to show that there were no additional “aggravating acts” beyond the bounds of a mere traffic violation. For example, if I were to prove that all you did was violate a speeding or lane change law without engaging in any erratic or out-of-the-ordinary conduct, you will likely be able to get the reckless driving charge dismissed or greatly lowered.
Don’t delay in calling our office. If you are charged with reckless driving in New York State it is serious business and you must have an experienced reckless driving defense attorney, representing you in court.