What Constitutes Reckless Driving in Pennsylvania?

dangerous driving while writing SMS text messageOperating a motor vehicle is a privilege that tends to be abused when a reckless driver gets behind the wheel. A driver can cause serious accidents. The act of recklessly driving can have lifelong consequences. That is when you will need to look into employing the assistance of legal counsel from criminal defense attorneys like Engle, Kauffman, and VanHorn.

It is important first to understand what reckless driving is, as defined in the penal codes for the state of Pennsylvania. You will also need to understand the differences between reckless and careless driving and the penalties for driving erratically. While there can be consequences for each, reckless driving is more deliberate and more likely to yield life-threatening results.

What Is Reckless Driving in Pennsylvania

According to Section 3736 of the state’s vehicle code, reckless driving in Pennsylvania is explained as “any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property […]” This means that the term can also be expanded to include illegal driving maneuvers, speeding, driving while impaired, and the like. In certain instances, texting while driving or crisscrossing through traffic can constitute as reckless driving.

There are a few distinct differences between reckless driving and careless driving. Section 3714 of Pennsylvania’s vehicle code defines careless driving as “careless disregard” for public safety. It can include falling asleep at the wheel instead of speeding or purposefully putting others at risk. In short, careless driving is much less deliberate than reckless driving is – that form of driving tends to be more of a conscious decision.

Penalties for Reckless Driving in PA

There are multiple penalties for reckless driving in Pennsylvania. When your driving record is pulled, your previous charges appear.

Fines range from $200 to $400 per offense, and you could end up in jail. You could also have your license suspended for six months. Each offense is a negative point on your driving record, which could follow you for years to come.

All penalties are enhanced if there is bodily injury involved, raising the fine to $1,000. In the tragic event of someone losing their life, the fine will be raised to $25,000.

How Long Does a Reckless Driving Charge Stay on Your Record?

In a reckless driving charge, every 12 months, three points will be removed from your record. If you have no criminal offense within 5 years, your driving record can be expunged.

Unfortunately, this conviction is likely to adversely affect your car insurance policy. Legal assistance could lessen the length of time it stays on your record and save you money in the long run.

Legal Assistance from a Criminal Defense Lawyer

With the assistance of a criminal defense attorney in PA, you may not have to have your driving record tarnished for long. Adding the aid of a criminal defense lawyer could shorten the time significantly. Engle, Kauffman, and VanHorn will provide you with the help you need to protect your driving record and criminal record.

We all make mistakes, some worse than others. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you are a reckless driver, there is help out there. Engle, Kauffman, and VanHorn can help you correct this mistake as much as possible. Now is the time to contact us to receive the legal counsel you need.