Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyer

Reckless Driving

Alabama has a set of laws designed to define for motor vehicle drivers the correct way to handle their vehicle on the road. These laws and statutes are designed to ensure that people drive in a manner that is safe and allows motorists to get to their destination quickly.

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Laws for Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is not just for automobiles but for any vehicle that uses a motor engine and that drives on public roadways. The laws in Alabama are designed to include all such vehicles, as any type of motor vehicle when driven carelessly can put motorists on the road at risk for death or injury.

The law states that any person who drives a vehicle in a manner that is careless or heedless with disregard for the safety or rights of persons and property, without due caution and circumspection, and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property, is driving recklessly.

You can be charged with reckless driving if you are driving your motor vehicle at speeds much higher than the speed limit. Going 15-20 mph over the speed limit in most places (whether on the highway or city streets) is enough to get a reckless driving charge.

Along with a reckless driving charge, many drivers are also cited with speeding tickets for violating local speed limit laws.

Penalties for Reckless Driving

A person who has no previous reckless driving charges is typically given a jail sentence of at least 5 days with the possibility of spending up to 3 months in lock up depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident. First time offenders are also charged a fine of at least $25.00 or up to as much as $500.

An individual who is convicted of a second reckless driving charge will face some steeper penalties. The jail time sentence is increased to at least 10 days with a possibility of six months total in jail. The maximum fine given to second time offenders stays the same at $500 although the minimum fine is raised to $50. An added penalty for second time offenders is the loss of driving privileges. Second time offenders may lose their license for a period of at least six months.

In some cases you might be allowed to have minimal driving privileges, such as driving from home to work and back again. Whether or not you are eligible for this exemption is based on your criminal record and the circumstances surrounding your charge.

Advantages of Legal Representation

There are many advantages of seeking out professional legal representation if you are facing reckless driving charges. A lawyer can set up a strategy that will investigate and call into question the observation of law enforcement professionals who pulled you over and the testimony of any witnesses who claimed to see you operating your vehicle in a careless manner. They will ask questions about whether the driver was really acting maliciously or simply got distracted for a moment. Lawyers can also draw attention to whether or not law enforcement actually saw the reckless maneuvers or if their testimony is reconstructed from other eye witness accounts. This type of defense strategy might prevent you from being convicted.