Washington DC Reckless Driving Lawyer

Driving in and around Washington DC can be difficult enough under the best of circumstances. However, with the constant traffic that plagues the city, there is always the temptation to bend the rules to get to where you are going.

Unfortunately, bending the rules rarely ends well for a driver. In the best-case scenario, this can result in a ticket for speeding or failing to yield. In the more extreme scenarios, police officers can charge a driver with reckless driving. Unlike a ticket that is a mere violation, a reckless driving charge is a criminal offense where a conviction can result in a jail sentence and the payment of heavy fines.

A Washington DC reckless driving lawyer may be able to help. They work to represent clients in Washington DC criminal courts against the accusations that their driving was reckless. A skilled criminal defense attorney could help clients by conducting an independent investigation of the incident, talking to witnesses, and creating reasonable doubt in the minds of juries. Call and schedule an appointment to start discussing your potential legal options.

Reckless Driving According to the Washington Penal Code

Reckless driving is defined by DC Code §50-2201.04 as any driving on a highway that demonstrates a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others. Alternatively, reckless driving may also involve driving without due caution in a way that endangers or is likely to endanger the safety or property of another.

As a result of this statute, there is no set definition of what kind of driving counts as reckless. As a result, a police officer may charge a motorist with reckless driving based solely upon their opinion. This creates a large amount of uncertainty in a case, especially when the facts are presented to a jury.

A Washington DC reckless driving lawyer could help clients by presenting evidence to a jury that a defendant’s driving does not meet this wide-open definition.

However, common examples of driving that can lead to a reckless driving charge include:

  • Excessive speeding
  • Swerving in and out of lanes
  • Failing to signal in heavy traffic
  • Tailgating

It is also more likely that a reckless driving charge may follow an accident. In fact, DC Code allows officers to charge a motorist with aggravated reckless driving if their actions result in any bodily harm to another or cause more than $1,000 in property damage.

The Available Penalties for a Conviction

Reckless driving is a rare example of a traffic violation that is also a criminal charge. Unlike other traffic tickets, a conviction for reckless driving can affect more than just a driver’s license status and finances. In fact, simple reckless driving is a misdemeanor level offense where a conviction can result in up to 90 days in jail for a first offense. Subsequent convictions increase the potential to 180 days or as much as a full year.

The penalties for an aggravated reckless driving conviction are even more harsh. A first conviction here carries a maximum jail sentence of 180 days and a second conviction increases the maximum sentence to one year. It is essential that defendants facing a reckless driving charge take the offense seriously. Contact a skilled Washington DC reckless driving lawyer to start reviewing potential legal defenses.

How a Washington DC Reckless Driving Attorney Can Help

Reckless driving charges are some of the most difficult to understand in Washington DC’s criminal code. Because of the code’s wide-open definition of reckless driving, police officers may use this statute to charge almost any driver under its language. This can result in people who would otherwise be facing a minor traffic violation instead being charged with a serious criminal offense.

A Washington DC reckless driving lawyer could help to protect both your freedom and right to continue driving. They can work with independent investigators to look into the incident, protect their clients’ rights in court, and argue cases before a jury. Contact a Washington DC reckless driving lawyer today to see how they could help you.