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Reckless Driving Violation while traveling through Alabama? From out of state?
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What do the Alabama laws say about Reckless Driving and what do they mean?
A conviction for reckless driving in Alabama means you have “disregarded” the rights and safety of other people and their property. In the eyes of the law, your driving put other people in danger, or it put their property at-risk of serious damage.
In Alabama, reckless driving is a serious criminal offense.
The reckless driving law requires the following:
Any person who drives any vehicle carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard for the rights or safety of persons or property, or without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property, shall be guilty of reckless driving.
You have a duty to drive carefully and responsibly at all times. If, in an Alabama police officer’s judgment, you commit any moving violation in a way that suggests you don’t care about safety, he can site you not only for the traffic offense but also for recklessness.
“Willful” and “wanton” stand out as by far the two most important words in the Alabama reckless driving law. “Willful” implies that you chose to endanger property and people; you meant to do it, and you did it deliberately. Charged with Alabama reckless driving, you answer not for “a mistake” or “an error in judgment” but for driving dangerously on purpose. Most “road-rage” incidents illustrate how a driver “willfully” can disregard the rights and safety of other drivers: if the angry driver “tailgates” the person who triggered his rage, he willfully endangers the other driver and her passengers. Or if the enraged motorist gets in front of another car and slows way down in the fast lane, showing his annoyance and deliberately snarling traffic, he willfully has endangered all the drivers and passengers in the traffic jam.
Wanton conduct means that you disregard what is right, just and humane and act carelessly and recklessly. Driving without caution and circumspection implies you didn’t pay careful attention to what you were doing, and you didn’t think about the consequences of your actions. In the arresting officer’s judgment, you drove dangerously because you just didn’t care. As he charges you with Alabama reckless driving, the police officer alleges that you knew you were putting others’ safety at-risk, and you went ahead and did it anyway.
If the Court finds you guilty of reckless driving in Alabama, you face serious penalties.
The Alabama reckless driving law provides for the possibility of jail time even for a first offense.
According to the Alabama Motor Vehicle Laws…
Every person convicted of reckless driving shall be punished upon a first conviction by imprisonment for a period of not less than five days nor more than 90 days, or by fine of not less than $25.00 nor more than $500.00, or by both such fine and imprisonment, and on a second or subsequent conviction shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 10 days nor more than six months, or by a fine of not less than $50.00 nor more than $500.00, or by both such fine and imprisonment, and the court may prohibit the person so convicted from driving a motor vehicle on the public highways of this state for a period not exceeding six months, and the license of the person shall be suspended for such period by the Director of Public Safety pursuant to Section 32-5A-195.
A conviction for reckless driving puts more points on your driving record than any other moving offense, except alcohol offenses. Even on your first offense, you could serve 5 days in jail; you may serve up to 90 days, or the Court may combine jail time with probation and community service. Even on your first offense, you should expect to pay steep fines for reckless driving.
After a reckless driving conviction, your insurance company will likely raise your rates, or the company will cancel your coverage. Whenever you renew a license, you will be required to show proof of adequate liability coverage, and you may be placed on probation. In some cases, a reckless driving charge or conviction will prompt the Court to revoke your probation or parole.
More about Alabama reckless driving laws…
If you have been charged with reckless driving in Alabama, the police may cite you for other violations in the same incident.
The Alabama law says provides that if you drive recklessly while intoxicated, police may charge you with both crimes.
You can be prosecuted for more than just reckless driving for conduct arising from the same incident -- possibly a DUI, reckless driving, and a moving violation.
Alabama law also says if you attempt to flee from police, you have committed two serious crimes.
According to the statutes, “Any driver of a motor vehicle who willfully fails or refuses to bring his vehicle to a stop or who otherwise flees or attempts to elude a pursuing police vehicle, when given a visual or audible signal to bring the vehicle to a stop, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. The signal given by the police officer may be by hand, voice, emergency light or siren.”
Do not mistake “misdemeanor” for a relatively insignificant offense or “no big deal.” The term means simply that you cannot serve more than a year in jail, but evading an officer while he attempts to stop and cite you for reckless driving puts you in serious jeopardy.
The law provides for thirty-days in jail as a possible sentence for evading or attempting to elude a police officer. You may serve up to six months. And the law provides for fines up to $500.00. Because evading an officer probably includes more reckless acts, the Court probably will impose the maximum fine. You also should expect to lose your license for at least six months.
Of course, conviction on all these charges will raise your insurance rates sky-high. Premium insurance companies and providers of group insurance simply will cancel your coverage; other high-risk insurance companies will charge you at least 50% more than your old rate just for liability coverage.
If an accident victim has filed a civil suit against you, and you are convicted of reckless driving, the conviction could possibly become grounds for awarding damages to the plaintiff in the civil action.
Because we focus our Statewide Alabama law practice on reckless driving, traffic, and DUI law, attorneys at the Kreps Law Firm, LLC, may defend you in both criminal and civil proceedings. Their command of your case, its details and circumstances uniquely qualifies them to advocate on your behalf, arguing for dismissal of the criminal charges or winning your acquittal, and similarly arguing that you did not behave negligently or recklessly in the incident.
Much of the evidence and testimony naturally will apply in both criminal and civil actions, and many of the strategies and techniques apply in both settings. Just as importantly attorneys at the Kreps Law Firm, LLC, have successfully defended hundreds of clients in Alabama criminal courts. Our reckless driving criminal defense firm has a passionate dedication to professionalism, effective counsel, zealous advocacy, and concern for our clients’ psychological and emotional needs.
Aggressive and Effective Alabama Reckless Driving Traffic Defense Representation
Alabama Reckless Driving Defense Lawyers
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