Most moving violations are relatively similar in terms of the severity of their penalties. However, reckless driving is quite different from other traffic violations. When a motorist operates a vehicle in an unreasonable manner that endangers other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists they are considered to be driving recklessly. In the state of New York, reckless driving bears significant penalties. Reckless driving is hazardous hence why it is illegal in the state of New York. However, many motorists still engage in this unsafe driving practice which often results in devastating accidents. People tend to wonder whether reckless driving is considered a crime because of the threat this act poses to those on the road. Please continue reading to learn what type of offense reckless driving is considered in New York. In addition, if you have been issued a ticket for reckless driving, contact a seasoned Rockland County Reckless Driving Attorney who can help navigate your legal options.
Is reckless driving considered a crime in New York?
In some states, reckless driving is considered a traffic violation, meaning it is not considered a crime. However, in the state of New York, reckless driving is classified as a misdemeanor offense. Therefore, reckless driving is considered a crime. In New York, reckless driving is defined as an act that “unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public roads or reasonably endangers users of the public roads.” Essentially, this means if a motorist operates a vehicle unreasonably and endangers those on the road, they can be convicted of reckless driving. The term reckless driving encompasses several different unsafe driving behaviors. For instance, some common violations that result in a reckless driving conviction may include driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving off the road while traveling at an excessive speed, and any other heedless driving practice that unreasonably puts those on the road in harm’s way. Since reckless driving is a misdemeanor offense, it carries significant penalties.
What are the penalties for this offense?
In the state of New York, reckless driving is a criminal offense which means it carries harsh penalties. Although reckless driving is not a felony offense, the penalties a motorist will be subjected to are still severe and have long-lasting negative effects on their lives. Those charged with reckless driving could face an array of hefty fines, license suspension, points on their driving record, and imprisonment.
- First-offense reckless driving convictions result in 5 points added to a motorist’s driving record, fines of up to $300, and 30 days imprisonment.
- Second-offense reckless driving convictions that occur within 18 months of a previous conviction result in 5 points added to a motorist’s driving record, fines of up to $525, and 90 days of imprisonment.
- Third or subsequent reckless driving convictions result in 5 points added to a motorist’s driving record, fines of up to $1,125, and up to 180 days imprisonment.
In addition to these severe penalties, motorists may be subject to further fines and lose their driving privileges if they accumulate 11 points within 18 months. Having motor vehicle points on a standard driver’s license not only can result in the loss of driving privileges but, it can cause auto insurance premiums to increase significantly. The repercussions of reckless driving are serious as it is a misdemeanor offense, meaning this unsafe driving practice is considered a crime.
In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one has been charged with reckless driving, please don’t hesitate to contact our determined and adept attorneys. Our firm is committed to defending our client’s rights and interests.