Criminal Defense Lawyer
A driver is guilty of reckless driving when they have operated their vehicle in a “willful and wanton disregard” for the safety of other people and/or property in the road. If during this act of reckless driving a victim suffered great bodily harm because of this act, then the charges can be upgraded to aggravated reckless driving.
Reckless driving is not considered a traffic violation but is instead charged as a criminal offense and carries with it all the potential penalties deemed under the law. Anyone facing a reckless driving charge should immediately call a criminal defense attorney to start building their defense against these charges.
Proving Reckless Driving
While law enforcement has been granted broad interpretation of reckless driving laws, the prosecution must still prove that the driver engaged in reckless behavior. This means the prosecutor will need to present evidence which will establish the driver is guilty of engaging in willful and wanton behavior. The “legal” definition of willful and wanton in reckless driving cases is conduct that exhibits a reckless indifference or a conscious disregard of the potential consequences of engaging in that particular act or behavior. As an attorney, like a Rockville, MD criminal defense lawyer from a law firm like the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright, can explain, evidence that the prosecutor may attempt to introduce at trial includes:
- Radar evidence: Many reckless driving charges concern the speed the driver is traveling. The “evidence” of the speeding is often captured by a law enforcement radar gun. In order to bolster the validity of the radar gun, the prosecutor should also present evidence that the radar gun used was also calibrated correctly.
- Eyewitness evidence: The officer who charged the driver will likely be called by the prosecutor to testify against the driver. If there were any other eyewitnesses, such as occupants in other vehicles or bystanders, the prosecutor may also include their testimony.
- Video evidence: The majority of law enforcement vehicles are equipped with dashboard cameras. These cameras often capture the moments leading up to the driver being stopped by police, demonstrating how the driver was operating their vehicle. This footage can be and often is used as evidence in a reckless driving trial. Video evidence that an eyewitness captured on their cell phone or other device that showed the driver’s reckless behavior can also be used as evidence.
Call a Defense Attorney Today
If you have been charged with reckless driving, not only will your driving record be impacted, but a reckless driving charge conviction will also affect your criminal record. Reckless driving can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the severity of the offense. A conviction can result in jail or prison time, thousands of dollars in fines, and high insurance rates. A criminal conviction can also cause problems in obtaining employment, education, and even housing.
You need a skilled criminal defense attorney fighting to help fight against these charges. Get a legal consultation today, and don’t wait to fight your reckless driving charges.