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Reckless Driving Laws in New York

Defined rather broadly under New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law (VAT) § 1212, reckless driving is the act of driving without regard for the safety of the other drivers, in a manner that endangers everyone on the road. Reckless driving is a criminal offense, typically punishable as an unclassified misdemeanor.

Attorney for Reckless Driving in Nassau County, New York

A reckless driving conviction can lead to losing your driving license and even difficulty finding employment and housing. These effects can follow you throughout your life. If you or a loved one have been charged with reckless driving, then it is highly recommended to contact The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni.

Stephanie Selloni is recognized by the legal community through her admittance into several reputable law associations such as the Nassau County Criminal Courts Law and Procedure Committee and the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NYSACDL).

The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni represents clients for reckless driving throughout Nassau County and Suffolk County including the towns, villages and cities of Riverhead, Garden City, Stony Brook, Westbury, Glen Cove, and Hempstead.

Call (516) 972-1212 or simply submit an online contact form for more information.

Reckless Driving Information Center

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Definition of Reckless Driving under New York Penal Laws

In order to prove reckless driving, the court must show that the driver:

  1. Unreasonably interfered with the free and public use of the highway and/or
  2. Unreasonably endangered users of the public highway

Some examples of reckless driving include excessive speeding – which presents an element of danger – and impeding the flow of traffic by sitting in a turn lane, intentionally slowing traffic behind you, or other like behavior.

When people typically think of reckless driving, they often imagine a chase scene from an action movie – while those are certainly good examples, reckless driving can also entail drifting into another lane, “curb-crawling” or “distracted driving” – using your phone while you drive.

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Penalties for Reckless Driving in New York

Under VAT  § 1212, reckless driving is an unclassified misdemeanor and is therefore subject to the following possible penalties:

  1. Confinement in jail for up to 30 days on the first offense, up to 90 days on the second offense and as many as 180 days on the third offense.
  2. A fine of $300, $525, or $1,125 for a first, second and third offense.
  3. Both the fine and imprisonment
  4. 5 points on your driving record

In addition, reckless driving convictions can also result in loss of one’s driving license, impounding of one’s vehicle and additional fines for damage to property, if applicable.

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Defenses for Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is a tricky charge to fight, given its ambiguous definition. Defense strategies therefore tend to rely strongly on fact and intent.

Lack of Intent

The accused may argue that they did not willfully or wantonly disregard the safety of others and that their actions did not rise to the level of recklessness.

Emergency Situations

In cases where the driver’s actions were necessitated by an emergency situation, such as avoiding a collision or responding to a medical emergency, the defense of necessity may apply.

Faulty Equipment

If the alleged reckless driving behavior was the result of mechanical failure or faulty equipment in the vehicle, the defendant may argue that they were not in control of the vehicle’s actions.

Violation of Rights

The accused may challenge the validity of the traffic stop or arrest, alleging that law enforcement officers violated their constitutional rights during the process.

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Additional Resources

New York § VAT 1212 – View the statutory language for New York’s Reckless Driving Laws. View the specifics and penalties for reckless driving and other crimes. Find the definitions for terms used in the driving statutes.

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Lawyer for Reckless Driving in Nassau County

A reckless driving conviction can follow you throughout your personal and work life. It is important that you stay prepared to fight these charges. Take those first steps with The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni for your reckless driving charges.

Attorney Stephanie Selloni is a practiced criminal defense attorney throughout the hamlets and villages in Long Island. She is compassionate with her clients and aggressive in the courtroom. Law Office of Stephanie Selloni has been recognized for her legal career and is a part of several esteemed law associations such as the Nassau County Criminal Courts Bar Association and the Nassau County Bar Association. Contact The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni, and speak to a reputable criminal defense attorney on your side today.

The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni defends clients throughout Suffolk County and Nassau County including Central Islip, Hempstead, Riverhead, Glen Cove, and Mineola.

Dial (516) 972-1212 to schedule a free consultation about your case today.

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