Definition Of Reckless Driving In Washington, DC
Drivers committing one or more of the following may be charged with Reckless Driving according to the code of the District of Columbia:
- Driving carelessly and heedlessly and without regard for the rights or safety of others
- Driving without caution
- Driving at a speed or in a manner that would endanger other people or property
- Driving more than 30 miles above the speed limit
- Causing bodily injury, disability or disfigurement to someone
- Causing $1,000 or more in property damage
The Worst Drivers In The Nation Are In Washington, DC
Allstate Insurance in Illinois uses data taken from their insurance claims to compile their annual Best Drivers Report. Washington DC has been ranked with having the worst drivers in the nation for consecutive years. The following are the rankings and the percentages of likeliness to get in an accident as compared to the national average:
- 2014 ranked third, 97 percent
- 2013 ranked number one, 109 percent
- 2012 ranked first, 112 percent
- 2011 ranked six, 107 percent
- 2010 number one, 95 percent
- 2009 number one, 95 percent
- 2008 report with 2006 data, Washington DC ranked first with approximately 83 percent
Charged With Reckless Driving In Washington, DC?
According to section 50-2201.04, Reckless Driving is a criminal misdemeanor charge, not just a traffic violation. This broad statute allows police officers to charge drivers with this, and allows court prosecutors to move forward in their prosecution and conviction proceedings.
A police officer can charge a driver with this offense if he or she feels that the driver is careless or putting at risk the rights and safety of other people and property. The offenses that can fall under this category are vehicle accidents, police chases, not giving the right of way to emergency vehicles or pedestrians, driving 30 miles or more than the speed limit, not stopping when a school bus is stopped and tailgating.
Personal Consequences Of Reckless Driving In Washington, DC
Being charged with reckless driving can change that person’s life in a negative way. Their insurance company may charge higher premiums or drop them altogether from the insurance policy, Having this charge will also make it difficult to find another company for coverage. There are also consequences at a person’s current job or future positions desired.
Legal Consequences Of Reckless Driving In Washington, DC
First-time offenders may be sentenced up to three months in jail, up to $500 in fines, and possible license suspension for six months.
For those charged with a second offense within two years, they are looking at up to one year in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, and possible license suspension.
If a third offense occurs within two years, the person is facing up to one year in jail, up to $3,000 in fines, and possible license suspension.
Offenders charged with a first-time aggravated reckless driving charge may receive a $2,500 fine and up to one year in jail. This charge means that the reckless driving of the driver caused bodily harm to someone else or $1,000 or more in property damage, or they drove 30 miles or more over the speed limit.
License Suspension And Points
Either the Washington DC Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or the arresting police officer sends a notification of license suspension to the person charged with reckless driving. Drivers with a Washington DC license have five days from their arrest or this notification to request an administrative hearing to contest this decision. Those with drivers licenses from another state have ten days to request this hearing.
This hearing should be attended with a knowledgeable reckless driving attorney to prevent this action. If the drivers license is suspended, the charged person has 15 days to appeal the decision. They may be permitted to have an occupational license to drive back and forth from home and work. To obtain this temporary license, a $98.00 reinstatement fee plus license fees will have to be paid.
To reinstate a suspended license, the DMV must be supplied with an SR22 insurance document, certification of passing a driving improvement course and retaking driving tests. A $98.00 reinstatement fee plus license renewal fees must also be paid.
Offenders with a Washington DC drivers license can get up to 12 points on their license. These points are not removed for two years. If their license was issued from another state, that state could charge their own penalties including suspending the license.
Hire An Experienced Law Firm To Handle Your Case
A good defense attorney should be consulted before going to court. An experienced lawyer will defend a not guilty plea by arguing the charge to get it reduced or dismissed. This can be accomplished due to certain circumstances that occurred at the time. Reach out to us today if you are facing criminal charges for reckless driving in Washington D.C.