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Reckless Driving in New York

In New York, reckless driving is defined as operating a motor vehicle in a way that “unreasonably interferes” with the use of a public highway, “unreasonably endangers” other motorists and pedestrians. The New York Supreme Court has determined that this means the driver has operated the vehicle in a way that shows a reckless disregard of the consequences of his/her actions, which is considered more than mere negligence. 

Common examples of reckless driving include: 

  • Driving at high speeds with disregard for the safety of others 

  • Driving at high speeds while changing lanes without signaling or tailgating another vehicle 

  • Driving off the road and speeding 

  • Crossing the median into the path of oncoming traffic while speeding and crashing into another vehicle 

  • Ingesting alcohol or drugs before driving and subsequently committing at least one traffic offense or causing a crash 

  • Ignoring police barricades and driving through them 

Not only is reckless driving one of the most serious traffic offenses, but it is also considered a criminal offense. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor in New York. 

The following are the potential criminal penalties of a reckless driving conviction: 

  • First offense – Punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 30 days and/or a fine of up to $300 (not including surcharge) 

  • Second offense – Punishable by a jail term of up to 90 days and/or a maximum fine of $525 (not including surcharge) 

  • Third offense – Punishable by a maximum jail term of 180 days and/or a fine of up to $1,125 (not including surcharge) 

Additionally, any reckless driving conviction will also result in five points on your driving record. If you accumulate more than 11 points within an 18-month period, your driver’s license will be suspended. Insurance companies may also increase your premiums based on your driving record. 

A reckless driving conviction in New York carries harsh penalties. If you are facing a reckless driving charge, you need to hire an experienced attorney who can help you obtain the most favorable outcome in your case. 

If you are dealing with a traffic ticket or criminal charges in New York, call Martin A. Kron & Associates, P.C. at (212) 235-1525 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation. Let a former traffic court judge with more than 30 years of experience protect your rights and best interests! 

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