Reckless driving is a serious traffic offense that can have significant legal consequences. But is it a felony in Pennsylvania? In this article, we will explore the laws surrounding reckless driving in Pennsylvania, its classification, potential penalties, and when it’s crucial to seek the guidance of a reckless driving lawyer near you.
Understanding Reckless Driving in Pennsylvania:
Reckless driving, as defined by Pennsylvania law, is the act of operating a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others. Common examples include excessive speeding, aggressive driving, weaving in and out of traffic, and running red lights. It’s important to remember that the specifics can vary depending on the situation, and Police may use their discretion when deciding if a driver’s actions warrant such charges.
Is Reckless driving a Felony in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, the legal system typically categorizes reckless driving as a summary offense, not a felony. However, it’s important to note that the circumstances of the incident can lead to it being charged as a misdemeanor. Either way it can still result in severe penalties, including fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment.
Penalties For Reckless Driving
The Pennsylvania code specifies that the law considers reckless driving a summary offense and imposes a $200 fine upon conviction. Additionally, if convicted, you face a license suspension of six months. The $200 fine doubles if the incident occurs in a work or emergency zone. In some cases, the convicted may face jail time.
- Fines: Convictions often result in substantial fines, which begin at $200 upon conviction.
- Points on Your Driving Record: A reckless driving conviction adds 5 points to your record, potentially leading to increased insurance premiums and the risk of license suspension.
- License Suspension: Depending on the severity of the offense, your license will be suspended for at least 6 months upon conviction.
- Criminal Record: A conviction can result in a criminal record, which can affect employment opportunities and other aspects of your life.
- Imprisonment: In some cases, particularly if your reckless driving led to significant harm or property damage, you could face jail time.
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What’s the difference between careless and reckless driving?
Section 3714 of Pennsylvania’s code defines careless driving as driving with a “careless disregard” for the safety of persons or property. To help clarify the differences, an example of careless driving may be a person falling asleep behind the wheel, which is a summary offense.
Reckless, on the other hand, involves a person deliberately operating a vehicle without care, such as excessively speeding. According to 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3736, reckless driving occurs when an individual operates their vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other people or property.
When to Consult a Reckless Driving Lawyer Near You
While reckless driving is not a felony, it is a serious offense with substantial consequences. You should consider consulting a reckless driving lawyer near you if:
- You’ve been charged with reckless driving in Pennsylvania.
- You believe you’ve been wrongfully accused or your actions were not reckless.
- You want to explore legal defenses or plea bargains to minimize penalties.
- You want guidance on navigating the legal process and protecting your rights.
What a Lawyer Can Do for You
Traffic violations are a common occurrence on the road, and at some point in your life, you may find yourself facing one. Whether it’s a speeding ticket, a red light violation, or a more serious offense like driving under the influence, the consequences of a traffic violation can be significant. That’s where a traffic violation lawyer can come to your aid. In this article, we’ll explore the valuable services and benefits that a traffic violation lawyer can provide.
- Expert Legal Guidance:
- One of the primary roles of a traffic violation lawyer is to provide you with expert legal guidance. They are well-versed in the intricacies of traffic laws and regulations in your jurisdiction.
- Minimizing Penalties:
- Traffic violations can result in various penalties, including fines, points on your driving record, license suspension, and even jail time for severe offenses. A skilled traffic violation lawyer can work to minimize these penalties by negotiating with the prosecution or presenting a strong defense in court.
- Building a Strong Defense:
- When facing a traffic violation, a lawyer can build a strong defense on your behalf. They can investigate the circumstances surrounding the violation, collect evidence, interview witnesses, and prepare a compelling case to present in court.
- Saving Time and Stress:
- Hiring a traffic violation lawyer means you won’t have to handle the stress of your case on your own. They can handle all the paperwork, court appearances, and negotiations.
Have You Been Charged With Reckless Driving?
Have you been charged with Reckless Driving in PA? Reckless driving in Pennsylvania is a significant traffic offense with potentially severe repercussions. Understanding the laws and seeking legal counsel when necessary is crucial to protect your rights and minimize the impact on your life. If you find yourself facing a charge in Pennsylvania, don’t hesitate to reach out to a qualified lawyer for expert guidance and representation.
If you’ve been charged, contact a Reckless Driving Lawyer near you as soon as possible. Call us today at (717) 823-0899 for a free consultation and find out how we can help to get your life back to normal.
At The Shelton Firm, we offer legal services ranging from Criminal Defense, Personal Injury,
Automobile Accidents, DUI, Divorce and Separation Issues, Expungements and Sealing of criminal records, and Traffic Ticket Defense. Our goal is to bring quality and affordable representation to the residents of Central Pennsylvania.