Common Defenses to a New Jersey Reckless Driving Charge
According to a study conducted by Allstate Insurance, four cities in New Jersey rank among the top 25 cities in the United States to have the worst drivers overall. One of the worst types of driving characteristics that “helped” New Jersey rank the top of the list is reckless diving. As such, law enforcement in the state have made a vigilant effort to crack down on reckless driving.
New Jersey laws consider reckless driving as a serious traffic violation. A conviction for this charge can result in serious consequences for a motorist. Two of the worst consequences include a significant increase in your insurance premium and points on your driving record. However, just because you are charged with reckless driving, it does not mean that you cannot hire an aggressive reckless driving attorney to devise a strategy to successfully defend the charge.
What Is Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving can generally be described as operating a vehicle in “willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others.” New Jersey statutes specifically define reckless driving as driving in a manner “so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property.” This means that if a driver, while operating a vehicle, places property or other humans at risk, he or she may be charged with reckless driving.
The consequences of a reckless driving charge under New Jersey law include a jail sentence of up to 60 days and a fine of up to $200. Any subsequent convictions can increase a jail sentence to 90 days and increase the fine amount to as much as $500. Additionally, a conviction of reckless driving can result in the imposition of 5 motor vehicle points and insurance eligibility points for the motorist.
Defenses to a Reckless Driving Charge In New Jersey
If you were charged with reckless driving, it does not mean that you automatically have to plead guilty and succumb to the consequences. Your attorney may be able to help you formulate a defense that may successfully dismiss the charges.
Some common defenses to reckless driving charges include:
- Your driving did not put any person or property at risk.
- The police failed to administer Miranda Rights (known as a Miranda violation).
- If your reckless driving charge accompanied charges of driving while impaired, a defense would include a flawed blood or alcohol test result.
- The police conducted a sloppy investigation, which may include misidentifying witnesses, providing a wrong depiction or violation of the scene of the accident, or failing to document evidence that may have been in your favor.
If you get arrested for reckless driving, it is best not to talk to the police or provide them any information other than what is necessary, like your driver’s license, insurance and registration information. What you say can and most likely will be used against you. Moreover, since reckless driving is a criminal offense, you are entitled to all the protections afforded any other criminal defendant.
For more information or to schedule a free consultation with New Jersey reckless driving attorney Dan Matrafajlo, please call the Law Offices of Dan T. Matrafajlo at (908) 248-4404.