Washington DC Reckless Driving Lawyer

Most moving violations that occur in Washington DC while behind the wheel are mere traffic offenses. While a finding of guilt in these matters will result in the payment of a fine and could affect your driver’s license status, the courts here cannot impose any criminal penalties.

One major exception to this rule is the concept of reckless driving. In short, any driving that demonstrates an intentional disregard for the safety of others may be an instance of reckless driving. A guilty finding here will create a criminal record, will impact your driving privileges, and could even result in a jail sentence. For these reasons, you should work with an experienced traffic attorney.

It is vital to take an aggressive step to protect yourself. Working with a Washington DC reckless driving lawyer may provide essential protection. They can work to craft a defense to allegations of reckless driving that is designed to protect your driving privileges and your freedom.

What is Reckless Driving under the Law?

Facing reckless driving charges can be a frustrating experience. This is because unlike many other criminal accusations, there is not a specific list of driving behaviors that are automatic violations of the law. For example, a person commits an assault if they touch another person without their permission. Instead, a police officer may arrest a driver based only on their opinion as to whether the driver broke the law.

According to DC Code §50-2201.04, a driver drives recklessly whenever their driving demonstrates a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others. This can also include driving without due caution and at such a speed that is likely to endanger a person or property. As a result, a reckless driving charge may follow if a police officer simply is of the opinion that the driving is likely to place other people or their property in danger.

There are some common examples of driving that may lead to a reckless driving charge. These include:

  • Excessive speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Driving without functional headlights
  • Swerving in and out of lanes
  • Driving while impaired

Clearly, there is much overlap between other, established moving violations and reckless driving. A Washington DC reckless driving lawyer could help defendants to understand why they are facing criminal charges and what a prosecutor may need to prove in court.

Working to Protect Drivers’ Futures

An allegation of reckless driving is a serious matter. Police officers have the authority to arrest any driver who they believe was acting in a reckless manner behind the wheel. This is because reckless driving is a criminal accusation. A first conviction will create a criminal record and can require a defendant to pay a fine.

In addition, the court has the ability to sentence a guilty defendant to up to 90 days in jail. Any instances of reckless driving that result in bodily harm or property damage over $1,000 increase the potential jail term to 180 days.

A Washington DC reckless driving lawyer could help to prevent this from happening. As discussed above, police officers may make an arrest based on little more than their opinion as to the recklessness of a defendant’s driving.

It follows that prosecutors and juries must eventually come to this same conclusion. What a police officer believes is reckless may not translate well to a jury in court.

As a result, a Washington DC reckless driving lawyer may be able to convince a prosecutor to reduce the severity of the charge to a simple, non-criminal moving violation.

Of course, every case is unique, and what works for one defendant may not work for another. An attorney could help to build a defense that serves every defendant.

How a DC Reckless Driving Attorney Can Help

Enduring an arrest for reckless driving can be a frightening and intimidating experience. Because one police officer’s poor lane change can be another’s reckless driving, different defendants can face different consequences for identical behavior.

This lack of certainty in many reckless driving arrests can place many defendants in a difficult situation. However, it also makes many reckless driving cases extremely defensible.

A Washington DC reckless driving lawyer may be able to act to protect your driving privileges and your freedom. A conviction for reckless driving will give you a criminal record and could even see the court impose a jail sentence. Take a vital step towards protecting your future. Contact a DC reckless driving attorney today.