What many people don't realize is that there is a difference between negligent and reckless driving. While in either situation, if you cause an accident, you are held legally accountable, it's actually more damaging if it's found that you were participating in reckless driving rather than negligent. In fact, in some states, you can be charged with a felony if it's found you were driving recklessly. Here are five behaviors that are deemed as reckless:
- Fleeing an Officer: Fleeing an officer is considered reckless driving if you cause an accident during the incident or you are fleeing because you already caused an accident. This shows disregard for the safety of other's and their property.
- Causing a Serious Injury: If you've caused a serious injury to another, it's considered reckless driving that you are subject to being charged with a felony for, especially if the injury is fatal.
- Driving Under the Influence: Causing an accident while under the influence is reckless driving that also leads to being charged with a felony. For the first charge, you will most likely have to complete a DUI program while any charge after that will likely lead to jail time, high fees and the possibly suspension of your driver's license. This becomes even more damaging if you have seriously injured someone.
- Driving Illegally: This means driving when you have a suspended license, no license, in a stolen vehicle, etc. This is putting others on the road in danger for a number of different reasons, which is why it's considered reckless driving even if you were driving safely and not breaking the rules of the road. You can still be pulled over and charged with reckless driving.
If you are charged with reckless driving, you need to contact an attorney to ensure that you are not facing the maximum consequences for such actions. Jail time, high fines, and more can be seriously damaging and your attorney will be able to help by showing the judge that you are not normally reckless, you have good intentions, community ties, and more that will help the judge be a bit more lenient on your consequences.
On the other hand, if you were not reckless driving, but involved in an accident with someone who was, you want to hire an auto accident attorney, as well. This way, you are properly compensated for any injuries and damages that have been done.