In Nevada, reckless driving is known as operating a motor vehicle with a willful disregard to the safety of yourself and those around you on the road. Reckless driving can result in either a misdemeanor or a category B felony, as the Nevada law is very specific on reckless driving cases and the result of it. Reckless driving shows the negligence of the driver and their lack of concern for the safety of others driving on the road. Reckless driving is a serious criminal charge, and it can even result in time in jail, even if no one is injured.
Reckless Driving and the Penalties
With around 1,200 motor vehicle accidents causing substantial bodily harm in Nevada every year, there is little room for error when the court is determining the consequences for a reckless driving charge. According to NRS 484B.653, it is unlawful for a person to drive a motor vehicle in a willful disregard for their safety and the safety of other drivers on the road or the highway. Examples of reckless driving can include:
- Driving significantly over the posted speed limit
- Ignoring traffic lights
- Hitting medians while driving
- Swiftly changing lanes in front of other drivers
- Driving overly aggressively, including road rage
Standard reckless driving can be charged as a misdemeanor crime with anywhere from $250 to $1,000 in fines, 8 demerit points on your driving record, and anywhere up to 6 months in jail. If the driver caused substantial bodily harm or even death, the charge becomes a category B felony with penalties anywhere from 1 to 6 years in Nevada State Prison and $2,000 to $5,000 in fines. If the reckless driving occurred in a work or school zone, the penalties can be doubled.
Other Forms of Reckless Driving
Reckless driving has many categories to it, as there are specific instances on the road that can be defined as reckless driving. One example is fleeing from the police, and willfully failing to stop for a police officer signaling the driver to pull over. It typically results in a misdemeanor, with up to 6 months in jail and $1,000 in fines, unless there is substantial bodily harm or death involved. Another example of reckless driving is causing a collision with a pedestrian or cyclist. If you are driving and fail to yield to the right away at a crosswalk and hit a pedestrian, you will be charged with a misdemeanor unless the pedestrian suffered substantial bodily harm or death. Trick driving is also a form of reckless driving, meaning that the driver uses the vehicle to perform stunts and a public street or highway where traffic has been blocked due to the stunt. Driving a vehicle in an unauthorized trick driving display to perform a stunt is considered a gross misdemeanor that is punishable by community service, fines, potential jail time, and even a driver’s license suspension.
Reckless Driving Defenses
Although it can be difficult, you can fight a reckless driving charge and say that your actions did not qualify as reckless driving. If you are trying to defend yourself with a reckless driving charge, you will need evidence to prove that your actions were not under the reckless driving category. Evidence could be from smartphone photos or videos, traffic surveillance footage, eyewitness testimony, weather and road reports, or vehicle GPS records. It is also possible to state that you were speeding excessively over the speed limit to prevent severe harm, including rushing someone to the hospital.
DUI to Reckless Driving
It is common to plead reckless driving in order to reduce a Driving Under the Influence (DUI)charge. Having your charge reduced from a DUI to reckless driving can be helpful, as your record doesn’t show a DUI, preventing a social stigma around you and driving under the influence. If you did get it reduced to reckless driving, you are still required to complete DUI penalties, such as DUI classes, but you will not have it on your record. Additionally, if you received another DUI after you had your previous charge reduced to a reckless driving, you will not receive harsher penalties due to being a repeat offender.
Reckless driving is extremely dangerous to the driver and everyone else on the road, increasing the chance someone gets seriously injured due to a reckless driver. If you are facing a reckless driving charge, you have the right to defend yourself in court with or without a lawyer. However, the charge will be very difficult to overcome without having a lawyer to aggressively fight the charges. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another driver, reach out to a legal defense team to ensure you receive compensation. Here at Ticket Busters, our experienced attorneys know the rules of the road better than anyone else, and will aggressively fight the charges for you to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.