California Reckless Driving Charges: What You Need to Know

Driving is a privilege not a right. When you are facing reckless driving charges in California, you need a strong attorney to fight on your behalf.

Driving is a privilege not a right. When you are facing reckless driving charges in California, you need a strong attorney to fight on your behalf. 

What is reckless driving under the California law? 

The definition of reckless driving can be found under California Vehicle Code Section 23103: 

“a person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.” 

“a person who drives a vehicle in an off-street parking facility, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 12500, in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.” 

For many people, reckless driving may seem like a minor crime akin to a speeding ticket. In the state of California, reckless driving is serious and can come with some pretty hefty consequences, especially if someone gets injured. 

Schedule your free consultation today. Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Joni Eisenstein.

Possible Legal Defenses for a Reckless Driving Charge 

In order to be found guilty of reckless driving, the prosecution must prove two important factors. 

First, they must show that you were actually behind the wheel of the vehicle and that the vehicle was operating on a highway or in an off-street parking facility. Depending on the facts of your case, your attorney may be able to show that you were not the actual driver or challenge the prosecutor to provide evidence that you were in fact behind the wheel. 

Next, they must show that you drove with willful and wanton disregard for other people and the property around you. This aspect is more difficult to prove. The prosecutor must demonstrate that you knew that your driving was a risk to those around you, and that you chose to drive in that fashion anyway. 

An experienced reckless driving attorney can help you develop the best defense for your case including: 

You were not the driver of the vehicle. You may be able to provide evidence to show a mistaken identity or that someone else was the primary driver. You may also be able to cast doubt on the prosecution’s assertion that you were the driver. 

You were required to drive recklessly. You may be able to show that the reckless driving was due to the existence of an outside emergency that was a threat to the driver or someone else. 

What are the consequences of a reckless driving conviction? 

A reckless driving conviction can result in serious consequences that can impact your life and your freedom. As a misdemeanor charge, reckless driving can come with “imprisonment in a county jail for not less than five days nor more than 90 days or by a fine of not less than one hundred forty-five dollars ($145) and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both fine and imprisonment…”

If the reckless driving incident involved death or injury to another person, the penalties can be even more severe. In addition to fines and possible jail time, you will also face consequences with the Department of Motor Vehicles. In most cases, you will receive 2 points on your license. The DMV also has the ability to suspend or revoke your license, especially if you have multiple reckless driving charges or if the incident involved serious bodily harm. 

Further, a reckless driving conviction can result in higher insurance premiums or your vehicle insurance dropping you altogether. Hopefully it is clear that a reckless driving conviction can be very costly on multiple fronts.

California Reckless Driving Attorney 

If you are facing reckless driving charges in California, you need a serious attorney by your side who can help you navigate the legal system and obtain the best possible outcome in your case. Reckless driving convictions carry significant fines and other penalties that can have an immediate and substantial impact on your life. 

The Law Office of Joni Eisenstein has been serving clients in the San Diego area for over 26 years. She has successfully defended clients facing reckless driving charges, and she may be able to help you fight your charges too. Call the office today at 760-721-3161 to schedule your free consultation and see firsthand how reckless driving attorney Joni Eisenstein can help you fight your charges and regain your freedom. 

If you are on the fence about hiring a defense attorney, stop thinking about it, and do it now

Hiring a criminal defense attorney like Joni Eisenstein can help you go from a place of uncertainty to freedom.