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What is reckless driving in New York?

If you receive a charge for reckless driving, you are dealing with serious consequences. New York treats reckless driving as a criminal offense, not a mere traffic violation punishable with a ticket. A conviction may hit you with jail time, hefty fines and a revocation of your license. 

When you face such a complex legal issue, it is vital to seek the right information and advice. First, you should know what the law says about what constitutes reckless driving and what potential punishments you may face. 

What counts as reckless driving?

In New York, it is unlawful to drive in a way that endangers the public or interferes with the free use of the highway. Essentially, this means operating your vehicle in a risky way that puts other people in danger without a valid reason. Actions and behaviors that may constitute careless driving include excessive speeding, driving off of the road, failing to give pedestrians the right of way and driving through a police barricade.

What are the penalties for reckless driving?

A variety of legal, financial and administrative penalties exist for this crime. The exact repercussions for reckless driving depend on the details of each circumstance, but it is generally a misdemeanor offense with the following maximum penalties:

  • First conviction: $300 fine and 30 days of jail time
  • Second conviction within 18 months: $525 fine and 90 days of jail time
  • Third conviction within 18 months: $1,125 fine and 180 days of jail time

If the judge finds you guilty of reckless driving, there will be an addition of five points to your driving record. You may also face a rise in your auto insurance rates. 

How do I fight a reckless driving charge?

Just because you face a charge for reckless driving does not necessarily mean you will get a conviction. With a fervent legal defense, you may be able to get the charges reduced to a less serious crime, or even dropped altogether.

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