Reckless Driving Attorneys in Frankford, NJ
Defending Clients Charged with Reckless Driving in Newton, Hackettstown, Phillipsburg, Hopatcong, and across Sussex and Warren County NJ
If you received a ticket for reckless driving, it means that you drove in a way that was dangerous and put those around you at risk. A reckless driving ticket is very common because it is many times found in conjunction with other traffic-related offenses. For example, if you received tickets relating to DWI/DUI and/or speeding, you may also have received a ticket for reckless driving. In the context of these tickets, it is easy to see how reckless driving fits right in because your conduct put those around you and/or property around you in danger to the point that someone could have been seriously injured. Whether you have a warrant for your arrest, traffic tickets, or a DWI/DUI, it is important that you speak with a knowledgeable traffic violations attorney regarding your rights and options. The lawyers at The Tormey Law Firm have handled a multitude of reckless driving cases in towns such as Newton, Sparta, Phillipsburg, Franklin, Hackettstown, and Frankford, NJ. We know the defenses and avenues that can be pursued to beat your case and avoid the detrimental impacts of a reckless driving charge conviction. Contact our office at (973)-755-1695 for a free consultation with reckless driving traffic attorneys serving all of Warren and Sussex County.
What does Reckless Driving Mean in New Jersey?
The reckless driving statute is N.J.S.A. 39:4-96 and states that “a person who drives a vehicle heedlessly, in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property…”
What is the Penalty for Reckless Driving in New Jersey?
A person found guilty of reckless driving has a lot at risk with respect to driving privileges. Moreover, he or she: could have one’s license suspended, may accumulate numerous points on one’s license, can receive substantial fines or penalties, and may even be placed in jail. Depending on your driving history and whether you are a repeat offender will truly determine the fines, penalties and the sentence associated with your conviction. Just points on your license alone can place you in a difficult situation. For one, points alone open the door for numerous fines, surcharges, and depending on the amount of points you already have on your license can result in the suspension of your license and driving privileges. Usually a license suspension occurs when you have accumulated approximately 10-12 points. In addition to loss of license, which can significantly impact your ability to work and your family time, your insurance premiums may become ridiculously expensive.
Can my reckless driving ticket get downgraded?
A less severe offense is considered careless driving. Although careless and reckless driving both carry weighty fines and penalties, the less severe of the two is considered careless driving. Careless driving results in only two points and fines as opposed to reckless driving which is a five point ticket. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission places a point schedule that outlines an offense type with the points provided for a given offense. Notably, one’s ultimate driving history will determine what your ultimate fee will be. Careless driving, N.J.S.A. 39:4-97, is when a driver lacks caution that can result in endangering a person or property. The differences between reckless and careless driving lies in whether the driver had knowledge that his or her conduct put others at risk. Careless driving lack intent so to speak because it is more negligence based, whereas, reckless driving disregards any risk and does it anyway.
Are there Available Defenses for a Reckless Driving Case in NJ?
If there was a violation of your rights or if an officer did not appropriately follow proper procedure when pulling you over, you may have viable defenses available given your situation. Despite the type of ticket or charges that you may have pending against you, it is important that your tickets and charges are brought against you in a timely manner. For example, if you have been charged with a traffic offense that is pending from 12 years ago and all of the sudden you receive a notice to appear in Court for this matter, it is important that you know that you may have available defenses. Accordingly, to preserve one’s constitutional right to a speedy trial, the United States Supreme Court established a four-factor balancing test under Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514 (1972). Under this test, the Court examines  the length of delay,  the reason for the delay,  the defendant’s assertion of his or her right,  and prejudice to the defendant, to evaluate allegations of speedy trial violations. Moreover, “[a] defendant has no duty to bring himself to trial; the State has that duty as well as the duty of ensuring that the trial is consistent with due process.” Id. at 527. Thus, the four-factor test in Barker remains the standard to evaluate denial of one’s federal and state right to a speedy trial. State v. Cahill, 213 N.J. 253 (2013).
Of course this depends on the circumstances of each case, but the purpose of this information is to highlight the importance of charges and tickets that lay dormant for periods of time have a statute of limitations for when the State can bring charges against you. This does not mean that you had a warrant for your arrest for failing to appear in Court 25 years ago and that it lacks legality that the warrant is still issued for your arrest today. It does, however, indicate that it is worth exploring whether your rights have been violated.
Companion Offenses with Reckless Driving
As previously indicated, many times reckless driving offenses also come about with common companion charges. For example, leaving the scene of an accident can also result in reckless driving if you speed away and do so even though you are placing drivers, pedestrians and others at risk. Similarly, just the act of speeding alone can also result in a reckless driving ticket. Specifically, if you drive 15 miles over the speed limit, you are consciously putting everyone around you at risk. Speed limits are in place so that the safety of the neighborhood and those around the area are considered and accounted for.
In addition, if you are eluding police, which means that an officer was attempting to pull you over, but you: did not come to a stop while driving your motor vehicle, you weaved in and out of traffic, or even sped away, you may find yourself with eluding charges and reckless driving because your conduct put others at risk.
This notion is similar to those who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. An individual can also receive a reckless driving ticket in addition to a DWI/DUI because he or she got into a vehicle not capable of driving and posed extreme danger.
Sparta NJ Reckless Driving Lawyers
Have you been pulled over and ticketed for reckless driving? Then you should seek qualified legal counsel urgently from a seasoned traffic defense lawyer who can explore all of your options for best defending your case. Traffic points, license suspension, and more could be on the line and cause problems for you long after your last day in court. The Tormey Law Firm is here to offer you a way out and strong stance against the prosecutor seeking to convict you. To speak with a trusted member of our firm now, contact us for a free consultation. You can reach us 24/7 by calling (973)-755-1695.