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What is Considered Reckless Driving in North Carolina?

On behalf of Randall & Stump, PLLC in Car Accidents on Tuesday, October 30, 2018

reckless driving

Speeding, running red lights, and other infractions are considered reckless driving in Charlotte, North Carolina.

North Carolina law is vague on specifics when it comes to reckless driving: “Any person who drives any vehicle upon a highway or any public area carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others shall be guilty of reckless driving.”

In other words, police can issue a reckless driving charge for any behavior that falls within these guidelines.

Reckless driving includes:

  • Running a red light
  • Running a stop sign
  • Aggressive and careless lane changes
  • Tailgating (following the car in front too closely)
  • Illegal passing
  • Street or highway racing
  • Failing to yield right of way when lawfully required

Reckless driving in NC is not just a moving violation. It is a crime, and if you are not careful about how you react to a reckless driving violation, you could pay a steep price.

The Cost of a Reckless Driving Charge

You could pay higher insurance premiums or even lose your driving privileges.

Reckless driving in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and throughout North Carolina is a Class 2 misdemeanor:

  • The maximum penalty for your first reckless driving offense is a $1,000 fine and up to 30 days in jail.
  • If you are a repeat offender or there were contributing factors, you could pay more and spend up to 60 days in jail.
  • Under certain conditions, you could have your license suspended or revoked.

We understand how important it is for you to maintain your driving privileges and that insurance is more expensive after a reckless driving charge. It is your right to have a strong legal advocate to protect and defend you.

Reckless Driving: Contributing Factors

A judge considers several factors when determining your sentence, including:

  • If your reckless driving caused an accident or if it forced others to take evasive action.
  • If there were weather conditions that made your careless driving even more hazardous.
  • If there is evidence that you were using your phone at the time.
  • If you are driving at excessive speeds (15 mph or more over the speed limit).
  • If you were driving recklessly while also under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The court does not look favorably on reckless drivers. You should also know that a reckless driving conviction in Mecklenburg County and the surrounding areas will add four points to your license. The more points you have on your driving record, the higher your insurance premiums.

You Could Lose Your License

Speeding – driving faster than the speed limit or driving too fast for weather, road, or traffic conditions – is a major factor in a reckless driving case. You could lose your license if drive extremely fast, such as:

  • Speeds of more than 55 miles per hour, and over 15 miles per hour faster than the speed limit
  • Speeds of more than 80 miles per hour
  • You have at least one prior conviction in the last 12 months

Reckless driving charges are more than a ticket. They have the potential to disrupt your whole life when you consider how much you rely on your car to drive to work, school, pick up your kids, get groceries, and almost every other daily activity.

Get Your Free Consultation Today

We understand that sometimes an otherwise good driver can make a mistake. However, it is frighteningly easy to be entangled in the criminal justice system over a momentary lapse in judgement. It is your right to seek a vigorous defense to help you avoid criminal prosecution, points on your license, or having your license suspended or revoked.

If you’ve been charged with reckless driving in Charlotte, North Carolina, contact Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys to discuss your case. Get a free initial consultation today. Call (980) 237-4579 or use our online contact form.