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Columbia Reckless Driving Lawyer
Reckless driving is defined as operating a vehicle in a manner that is willful or deliberate, and puts the safety of persons or property in danger. This type of charge is broad and open to interpretation. If an officer believes that an individual’s driving conduct presents a danger to the public, they can be cited for reckless driving. When this occurs, a Columbia reckless driving attorney can be of assistance in determining the best course of defense to ensure that you receive minimal penalties. Additionally, an experienced defense attorney in Columbia will be able to prepare you for what to expect and protect your rights throughout the legal process.
Reckless driving can manifest itself in many different ways. Some examples of reckless driving include:
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Driving on the shoulder
- Ignoring traffic signs and signals
- Speeding 25 mph over the posted limit
- Participating in a speed contest
- Passing where it is illegal
No matter the charge, an experienced Columbia reckless driving attorney can assist in effectively defending the case against the prosecution.
Reckless Driving vs. Speeding
Although it is common for a police officer to write a ticket citing a driver who was only speeding for reckless driving, an individual cannot be charged with reckless driving for speeding only. A judge must consider all factors in a reckless driving case, including whether the driving was erratic, how much over the speed limit an individual was going, and other considerations.
If a person is charged with speeding, the ticket will cite either Maryland Transportation Article 21-801.1 for exceeding maximum speed, or Maryland Transportation Article 21-801A for driving a vehicle in excess of a reasonable and prudent speed on a highway. If an individual is charged with reckless driving, the ticket will cite Maryland Transportation Article 21-901.1.
There is a maximum penalty of $1,000, as well as six points on an individual’s driver’s record for a reckless driving conviction. The six points on the record will require an individual to complete a driver improvement course. Additionally, a criminal misdemeanor conviction for reckless driving could also be on an individual’s record.
If an individual’s driver’s license is suspended due to the accumulation of points, it could have an impact on their livelihood, especially if an individual relies on driving their car for work. Furthermore, if an individual is seeking employment which involves driving, such as a trash truck driver, it is unlikely that the individual will be hired which is why it is so important to get started on a defense right away with the assitance of a reckless driving lawyer in Columbia.
Paying the Citation
Reckless driving is a criminal citation, and the individual is not required to appear in court. If an individual wishes to contest a citation, they must send in a request for a hearing to the listed P.O. Box on the master list of Maryland. An individual also has the ability to not go to court and simply pay the listed fine amount on the citation.
Benefits of an Attorney
Having a Columbia reckless driving lawyer who is familiar with the Maryland Transportation Article and who understands which violations could be considered reckless will be invaluable for mitigating your case. It may lead to your charge being reduced, which could significantly lower the potential penalties, or have the charge dismissed completely.