If you are issued a careless driving ticket and you think that there are extenuating circumstances that may help to reduce the penalty, it is best to have your attorney file a request for a hearing. The law on careless driving is very broad and police officers have a lot of discretion when it comes to this offense. Having an experienced lawyer on your side is essential to fighting the charges against you.
What Is Careless Driving?
Careless driving is one of the most common traffic offenses handled in municipal court. A driver can be cited for this offense when they show “willful disregard of the safety of persons or property.” This is a very broad and subjective standard, so people often find themselves getting charged with this violation even when they didn’t mean to put others in danger. It is also important to note that a careless driving charge is based on the officer’s opinion, meaning you have the right to challenge the charges against you.
Many people are tempted to just pay the ticket and move on, but that can lead to points on your license, which can impact your insurance rates and can ultimately cause you to lose your license. Instead, you should contact an experienced attorney to help you fight this citation. They will be able to determine the legal standard for your case and gather the evidence needed to mount an effective defense.
What Are The Penalties For A Careless Driving Charge?
A careless driving charge can carry criminal penalties in addition to fines and points on your license. A conviction for a careless driving offense may result in 30 days of jail time for a first offense, 90 days of jail time for a second offense, and 180 days of jail time for a third or subsequent reckless driving offense. While state laws differ, most have defined reckless driving as operating a vehicle in such a way that shows an indifference to the safety of people and property. There are also specific circumstances that are considered per se reckless driving offenses, such as street racing and excessive speeding.
A conviction for a reckless driving offense can lead to a criminal record, which can affect your job prospects, housing options, and acceptance into colleges. It can also make you a “serious traffic offender” and result in a mandatory six month driver’s license suspension if you receive three such convictions in five years.
What Is The Difference Between Careless Driving And Reckless Driving?
Careless driving and reckless driving are similar charges that can both result in points on your license, significant fines, and even a driver’s license suspension. However, there are some key differences between the two offenses. While reckless driving involves a willful disregard for the safety of others, careless driving is more like an act of negligence. When you’re convicted of careless driving, it means that you were driving in such a way that someone could have been seriously hurt or killed.
The difference between the two offenses can be very important, especially for drivers who have a lot of traffic tickets on their record. Our experienced New York traffic ticket lawyers can help you develop a strategy to fight your careless driving charge and potentially get it reduced to a less serious offense. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.
Can I Fight A Careless Driving Charge?
Careless driving is a common ticket for people who have rear-ended someone or for drivers who were otherwise involved in one-car accidents. It is not as serious a charge as reckless driving, but it can still result in points on your record, fines, and a citation that will be visible to insurance companies. If you’re going to fight a careless driving charge, you should start by contacting any witnesses who may be able to bolster your case with their recollection of the incident. You should also see if there is video footage that could be helpful to your cause.
Once you have a court date set for your hearing, you can then begin to work on contesting your ticket by arguing why you weren’t negligent or explaining any extenuating circumstances that would help to mitigate the severity of your actions. It is best to have a lawyer help you with this process. They will have a deep understanding of the law and years of experience cross-examining police officers.
Resolving a careless driving ticket is important as it can impact your license and cause you higher insurance rates. Contact one of our lawyers to fight for you.