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Reckless Driving in New Jersey

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In New Jersey, a person is guilty of reckless driving if they “drive[] a vehicle heedlessly, in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person property[.]” N.J.S.A. 39:4-96. If property is damaged or a person is injured, it may be strong evidence of reckless driving. However, there does not need to be any damage or injury to be guilty of reckless driving.

A person’s first reckless driving offense will result in up to 60 days of imprisonment and/or a fine between $50.00 and $200.00. A second or subsequent conviction will be punished with up to 3 months of imprisonment and/or a fine between $100.00 and $500.00. The offense of reckless driving also carries a 5-point violation on your driving record. Not only may you have to pay fees if you receive 6 or more points within three years, you may also lose your license if you accumulate 12 points or more on your record.

Reckless driving is also a lesser-included offense of vehicular homicide. The only difference between reckless driving and vehicular homicide is that the person’s reckless driving must be shown to have caused the death of another in the latter offense. Careless driving is a lesser-included offense of reckless driving. A person is guilty of careless driving if they drive a vehicle “without due caution and circumspection, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property.” N.J.S.A. 39:4-95.

If you have been accused of reckless driving and/or are facing license suspension, contact an experience attorney at Cohn Lifland.

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