What Constitutes Reckless Driving?

Categories: Vehicle Accidents

Man driving aggressively

Criminal Defense Lawyer for Reckless Driving Charges in Colorado

Traffic offenses might seem minor, but they are anything but a “minor” offense in Colorado. In some cases, you might serve jail time for a traffic offense. One of the crimes that includes a jail sentence is that of reckless driving.

It is important that you understand what reckless driving charges entail, and that you know your rights. Often, the statutes allow for discretion when issuing tickets. So, it is in your best interest to know what constitutes reckless driving and how that differs from “careless” driving acts.

What is Reckless Driving in the State of Colorado?

Colorado Revised Statute Section 42-4-1401 states that reckless driving can be conducted by anyone operating a:

  • Motor vehicle
  • Bicycle
  • Low-powered scooter
  • Electric-assisted bicycle

Therefore, reckless driving is not limited to automobiles only.

Furthermore, the statute states that reckless driving is any behavior that indicates a willful disregard for the safe of people and property around you. Conduct like this might include:

  • Aggressive driving,
  • Driving at excessive speeds,
  • Performing dangerous maneuvers,
  • Driving well above the posted speed limit,
  • Extreme speeds in school zones or residential neighborhoods,
  • Competing with a vehicle on the roadway, or
  • Cutting off another vehicle purposely.

If your driving behavior is dangerous, and it’s obvious that you have no regard for public safety, you might face a reckless driving charge. Reckless driving citations are Class 2 misdemeanors in Colorado. So, you might spend 10 to 90 days in jail and have a fine of as much as $300.

What is Careless Driving?

Careless driving is in the statutes, so you could face careless driving citations, as well. The same principles apply to careless driving as with reckless driving; however, careless driving involves disregard for grades, curves, corners, traffic conditions, and so forth.

Some examples of careless driving include:

  • Driving over the speed limit,
  • Driving without regard for weather conditions, and
  • Driving erratically on busy streets.

To be “careless” you must realize that you are using unsafe practices, and you are willing to open yourself up to the possibility of a citation. However, you are not blatantly disregarding the safety of others. Careless driving, however, does involve the same punishment as reckless driving. So, you might face a Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense.

Can You Defend Against Reckless or Careless Driving Citations?

Yes, you can. Perhaps you were rushing to work, or you were not thinking clearly at the time. Maybe you became aggressive from road rage. Regardless of the situation, these offenses are serious and will impact not only your freedom but your driving record – and possibly your automobile insurance rates.

Therefore, you need an attorney to help you combat these charges. A criminal defense attorney can assist you with your case by reducing the citation or having it dismissed altogether. Law enforcement uses its discretion when issuing these citations, which might work in your favor.

Contact a traffic offense attorney with experience handling these types of cases. Rubinstein Law Offices can protect your rights and exercise the judicial process to defend you against careless and reckless driving charges. Schedule a free consultation appointment with attorney Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C. now by calling our offices at 970-704-0888 or requesting more information online.

Mark Rubinstein

Attorney Mark S. Rubinstein has been practicing law for more than 30 years, including 25 years in Colorado. He founded Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C., in Carbondale after working for law firms in Denver and earlier in his career in San Diego. He focuses his practice in the areas of criminal defense and personal injury representation, and he is well known throughout western Colorado as an effective and unwavering advocate for his clients.