After an accident, many drivers are charged with reckless driving as a way to support the claim that they caused the accident and to increase the penalties they face for their involvement in it. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor charge, so defendants could face jail time. If you have been charged with reckless driving after an accident, you need an auto accident attorney on your side.
Your attorney can reduce the legal penalties you face by asserting that your driving wasn't reckless based on the legal parameters of reckless driving in your state. Here are three of the many factors your lawyer will look at as they a case for you.
One of the most common reasons for a reckless driving charge is speeding. Although 42% of drivers don't consider driving 10 mph over the speed limit to be speeding, and 10% of drivers don't consider driving 20 mph over the speed limit to be speeding, but speeding is a contributing factor in motor vehicle accidents. Each state has its own laws regarding speeding and reckless driving. Some states have firm thresholds based on how much faster you drive past the limit. Others allow reckless driving charges for anyone speeding at all. Your lawyer will determine if the courts have any veritable evidence that you were speeding to help you avoid a reckless driving conviction.
Some of the classic reckless driving offenses are illegal maneuvers. Passing illegally, ignoring stoplights, and changing lanes erratically all fall into this category. Typically, the courts rely on eye witness testimony for evidence of these hallmarks of reckless driving. Make sure you represent the events that led up to the accident as truthfully as possible to your attorney and remember that eye witness testimony is often unreliable. Your attorney will seek to make your behavior sound as reasonable as possible when building your defense. If you had a good reason to perform an illegal maneuver, you could reduce your chances of being convicted of reckless driving.
Not everyone has the luxury of affording timely vehicle repairs. While some repairs can be put off, others need to be performed to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive. If you knowingly drove a vehicle with obvious brake issues, for example, and were unable to stop in time to prevent an accident, you could be charged with reckless driving. However, if your vehicle's condition seemed fine while you drove and an essential system failed at the last moment, you likely wouldn't be convicted for reckless driving. Your attorney will gather as much information from you as possible about the state of your vehicle on the day of the accident to determine if your vehicle's problems could have caused the accident.
To learn more about fighting reckless driving charges after an accident, contact a car accident attorney in your area.