When Can I Be Charged with Reckless Driving in Nevada?
Nevada law defines reckless driving as driving “…a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.” (NRS 484B.653) While the definition is perhaps vague, some examples of when you may be charged with reckless driving include excessive speed above the speed limit, ignoring traffic signals, road rage behavior, colliding with other vehicles or objects, or car chases with police.
The law also includes either participating in, or organizing “…an unauthorized speed contest on a public highway,” under the reckless driving statute. Drag racing on public streets is considered reckless driving, and the penalties are higher for this offense.
If no physical injury or death resulted from the reckless driving, it is considered a misdemeanor. If physical injury or death was caused by the driving, it is considered a felony.
Reckless driving may also be offered as an alternative to a DUI charge. In some cases, your attorney may be able to negotiate a reduced penalty to a DUI charge, and a plea bargain may be offered to reduce the DUI charge to reckless driving. There are many advantages to this alternative, such as keeping the DUI off your driving record, although reckless driving is also considered a serious driving offense.
What Penalties are for Reckless Driving?
In addition to any criminal penalties associated with a reckless driving conviction, the DMV will assess eight demerit points on your driving record. This is the largest single point value for a driving violation and may result in license suspension if the addition makes your record total more than 12 points.
When do Criminal Penalties Increase?
The criminal penalties increase as the number of offenses increase. The penalties are:
- First offense with no injury or death to others: Misdemeanor, with a fine of $250 to $1,000, and/or incarceration in county jail of up to six months. Drag racing imposes an additional penalty of 50 to 99 hours of community service, mandatory driver’s license suspension of six months to two years, and possible impounding of vehicle used in the offense for up to 15 days.
- Second offense with no injury or death to others: Misdemeanor, with a fine of $1,000 to $1,500, and/or incarceration in county jail of up to six months. Drag racing imposes an additional penalty of 100 to 199 hours of community service, mandatory driver’s license suspension of six months to two years, and possible impounding of vehicle used in the offense for up to 30 days.
- Third and subsequent offenses with no injury or death to others: Misdemeanor, with a fine of $1,500 to $2,000, and/or incarceration in county jail of up to six months. Drag racing imposes an additional penalty of 200 hours of community service, mandatory driver’s license suspension of six months to two years, and possible impounding of vehicle used in the offense for up to 30 days.
- A reckless driving conviction where you failed to stop for the police, and substantial bodily harm or death was the result of the driving is considered a Category B felony with a term in state prison of one to six years, and a fine of $2,000 to $5,000.
Any of the above violations which occurred within a work zone can result in doubling the penalty.
What is a reckless driving?
In some states, it is possible to get a DUI charge reduced to reckless driving and, luckily, Nevada is one of those states. A reckless driving reduction is when the defendant of a DUI charge enters into a plea bargain for reckless driving. This allows the defendant to have fewer penalties and not suffer the consequences of being charged fully for the DUI. Being charged with a DUI is never a good thing, but if there is not substantial evidence for the charge or it is apparent that the charge was not supported by probable cause, this kind of plea bargain might be able to be made.
What does that mean for me?
If your original DUI charge can be considered for this plea bargain, this would mean the defendant would not have a DUI on their record. It is always important to remember with any charge, the more of them you have, the bigger the penalty. This applies to DUIs that are reduced to a reckless driving charge. All reckless driving convictions will add eight points to the accused’s driving record.
Even though these penalties can still cause concerns and problems, a reckless driving charge is not as severe as getting charged with a DUI. See a DUI’s penalties here. (link to penalties from a DUI page) Having your DUI dropped to a wet reckless charge will be beneficial in the long run due to the following:
- It will not be counted as a DUI, so if another DUI occurs, the defendant would not receive as harsh of penalties
- Employment will not be a affected as it would if the defendant had the DUI charge
- The addition of the eight points to the defendants drivers license is better than being faced with an automatic suspension of his/hers drivers license
- The defendant would be able to have his/her record sealed in one year with a wet reckless as opposed to the seven years it would take if it were a DUI conviction
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The Defenders will provide you a vigorous defense of charges of Reckless Driving
If you have been charged with reckless driving, you need the services of a well-qualified attorney to navigate the complexities of the legal system. Your attorney may be able to have the charges reduced, or even dismissed if the charges are based on inaccurate or subjective judgments. If there were no witnesses to the questionable driving there may not be enough evidence to support the charges. The Defenders attorneys are well qualified to represent you in such cases. Call us today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333.