CARELESS, RECKLESS DRIVING & AGGRESSIVE DRIVING
If you have been charged with a criminal traffic offense, you are facing serious consequences and have much greater concerns than restrictions on your driving privileges and payment of fines and increased insurance premiums. Serious traffic offenses carry serious penalties that can affect you for the rest of your life. Securing the skill of a traffic offense attorney experienced in handling serious traffic offenses in North Carolina is the best investment you can make to preserve your freedom and protect your future.
Careless Driving, Reckless Driving, and Aggressive Driving
Careless driving is considered a lesser included offense of reckless driving, reckless driving is a lesser included offense of aggressive driving, and these three offenses can often be the source of some confusion. These driving offenses are each separate crimes under North Carolina law. Even so, these offenses are frequently referred to interchangeably.
Careless driving is commonly referred to as “Careless and Reckless Driving” and is often prosecuted as reckless driving. North Carolina law makes clear, though, that careless driving is a separate criminal offense from that of reckless driving or aggressive driving. Careless driving generally includes driving in a manner that could result in damage to another person or to property. A charge for careless driving implies that the driver lacked any motive or intent to cause injury or accident.
Reckless driving in North Carolina is defined broadly and gives law enforcement wide discretion in bringing criminal charges and a certain advantage in securing convictions. Reckless driving can be charged whenever a driver operates any “vehicle” in a manner that is carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others. In addition to proving reckless driving, a charge for aggressive driving requires proof of a speeding violation under North Carolina law. Charges for reckless driving and aggressive driving imply knowledge regarding the dangerous nature of the driving and a disregard for the safety of other people or property.
Even if you are not necessarily driving in a careless or reckless manner, you may still be charged with reckless driving. Driving 15 miles over a posted speed limit of less than 55 mph, or speeding over 80 mph, can result in a charge of reckless driving. reckless driving is a Class 2 misdemeanor and results in:
- an automatic suspension of your license for 30 days
- the possibility of a prison sentence of up to 60 days
- the accumulation of 4 points on your license
- a license suspension of up to 1 year
- and over $1000 in fines and fees for court-ordered programs
Russell W. DeMent III
Criminal Defense Lawyer
Classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor, a charge of aggressive driving is an even greater offense than reckless driving. All of these charges will result in a severe spike in your insurance premiums that can last for years.
The criminal defense attorneys at DeMent Askew & Johnson regularly defend charges of careless driving, reckless driving, and aggressive driving. We will thoroughly review the facts of your particular case with you, and we will get to work on your best defense right away. Even as we work with the prosecutor’s office towards getting your charges dismissed or significantly reduced, our defense attorneys are first and foremost trial attorneys with the skills and experience to put together your best defense to prevail in the event of a trial. Call us today to speak with one of our traffic attorneys for a free consultation at 919-833-5555.
Criminal Law Articles from the Blog
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CRIMINAL DEFENSE SUCCESS
Defendant had a head-on collision with injuries to both parties. He was given field sobriety tests on the scene of the collision and did not perform well on those tests with the exception of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test where he showed no signs of impairment from any central nervous system depressant. He admitted…
Motion to Suppress and Dismiss Granted for Lack of Probable Cause; No Reliable Evidence Suggesting Impairment After Speeding Stop
Motion to suppress and dismiss granted for lack of probable cause to arrest where my client was stopped for speeding, had an odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, admitted to drinking, as well as showed signs of impairment on the field sobriety tests. The court put little weight on the field sobriety tests because the officer…
Defendant charged with 2 counts of habitual impaired driving on his 7th total offense. Were able to negotiate a plea consolidating the sentence to one term of 28 months in prison where he was facing the potential for 10 years or more.
Client stopped for speeding. LEO smelled odor of MJ about clients person. LEO search revealed burned MJ blunt. Defendant performed poorly on all physical tests but told the officer he suffered from a herniated disk in his lower back. On the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) eye test there were no clues of impairment. A subsequent…
Evidence Suppressed in DWI Case; Court Holds “No Reasonable and Articulable Suspicion” for Traffic Stop
All evidence suppressed in DWI case for an illegal stop where the LEO observed my client pause in a parking lot for 30 seconds before leaving the lot and then crossed a center line during a turn at an intersection. Held “No reasonable and articulable suspicion” for a traffic stop.
Defendant charged with Level 2 DWI with one prior within 7 years. Was facing a potential sentence of 1 year in prison. Defendant attended a treatment program and really changed her life direction while the case was pending. We were able to get the judge to agree to accept the inpatient treatment as credit for…
Client approaches a DWI roadblock. Smells of alcohol and performs ok on field tests though she does so some signs of NHTSA clues of impairment. She admits to drinking and blows positive for presence of alchol on the portable breath test. She is taken to the mobile breath testing bus at the checkpoint. She is…
Guilty Verdict of Less Significant Charges of Driving with License Revoked and Lane Violation; Charges Included DWI, Driving While License Revoked, and Hit and Run; No Jail Time
Client charged with DWI, driving while license revoked for impaired revocation, hit and run, and driving left of center. She was found on side of the road in driver’s seat 400 yards from a collision, showed clues of impairment on the field sobriety tests and blew a .10 on the breath test. Found not guilty…
Client charged with level 3 trafficking in opiates which carried minimum mandatory sentencing of a minimum of 225 months (18 years 9 months) in prison. After months of negotiating with the prosecuting attorney and following a lengthy argument to the court, Defendant was sentenced to 65 months (5 years and 5 months) in prison with…
Not Guilty of DWI with Serious Collision; LEO Failed to Gather Specific Information from Driver Taken to Hospital with BAC of .17
Client charged with driving while impaired. LEOs respond to a serious collision where someone being taken to the hospital in EMS vehicle upon troopers arrival. The vehicle had flipped 2 times and landed in the median. Based upon information obtained at the scene, the LEO finds my client in the hospital with injuries consistent with…