North Carolina Reckless Driving Laws

While you may have thought reckless driving was a simple traffic ticket or citation, in North Carolina, reckless driving is actually a criminal charge. If you have been charged with reckless driving, you need the expertise of a criminal defense lawyer to fight to keep you from a permanent criminal record.

If you made a mistake, and you were driving faster than you realized, or a distraction caused you to drive erratically, we understand. These things happen, and it shouldn’t mean you deserve to be punished like a criminal. We have handled many reckless driving cases in North Carolina, we are prepared to assist you in getting the best possible results on your case. In many types of cases, we can file motions to get your charges reduced to a civil penalty, and avoid a criminal prosecution.

Please contact us for a free consultation on a reckless driving offense in North Carolina. We’ll go over what you are up against, and what we can do to help.

But I wasn’t even swerving; I should just get a speeding ticket!

To be charged with reckless driving in the State of North Carolina, you do not have to be driving erratically. There are two different ways to meet the criteria of reckless driving:

1.      Driving “carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard” of the rights and safety of others, or

2.      Driving without due caution and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property.

Ref: Reckless Driving, NCGS 20-140

How fast is “in a manner to endanger”?

According to North Carolina Courts, if you are caught driving at least 15 miles per hour over the speed limit where the speed limit is less than 55 miles per hour you can be charged with reckless driving.

However, as the speed limit increases, the threshold decreases.  This means that if the speed limit is under 70 miles per hour and you are caught doing over 75 miles per hours, you can be charged with reckless driving.

If you go 75 in a 65 mph zone, you may get pulled over and charged with reckless driving.

Can I go to Jail for Reckless Driving?

The short answer is yes. Reckless driving is a Class 2 misdemeanor. Under North Carolina laws, reckless driving is punishable by up to 60 days in jail.

Jail time isn’t the only punishment you may face with your reckless driving charge. A conviction can bring 4 points on your driver’s license as well as driver’s license suspension up to 12 months. You may also face fines of up to $1,000.

As if those weren’t enough, your car insurance rates may go through the roof with a reckless driving conviction. The insurance company will view you as a bad risk and charge you accordingly.

Get A Free Case Evaluation on an NC Reckless Driving Charge

A minor traffic mistake should not result in a criminal record for the rest of your life, or possible jail time, yet that it what you are facing. We know this is something you never expected, and understand the stress this can cause and want to help. Call our experienced criminal defense lawyers for a consultation on your reckless driving charge today. We fight charges in all NC courts.

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