Reckless driving in Orange County is a pretty serious offense with harsh penalties. You could face long-term consequences even as a first offense. If you are faced with a reckless driving case in Orange County, you will need an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

Motorists who attempt to manage a California reckless driving charge on their own without a reckless driving defense attorney almost always end up with harsher penalties than they deserve. If you drive your vehicle on a highway with disregard for the safety of people or property, you will likely be caught and charged. Learn more about reckless driving in California and what such a charge involves.

What Is Regarded as Reckless Driving in Orange County?

There are major differences between traffic citations like speeding tickets and criminal acts like reckless driving. California Vehicle Code section 23103 describes reckless driving as the act of someone driving a vehicle on a highway or in parking areas off the street in willful or wanton disregard for the well-being of:

  • Other people
  • Property

A highway means any publicly maintained area that the public can use for traveling with motor vehicles. Therefore, this includes streets of various sizes and private property.

Wanton disregard means that the person knows their actions have a risk of significant harm, which isn’t justifiable, but they still choose to ignore this risk.

What Behaviors Could Lead to A Reckless Driving Charge in California?

As mentioned earlier, speeding tickets don’t necessarily mean you’ll face a reckless driving charge. The court has the discretion of looking at the circumstances and deciding whether you drove recklessly or not.

The following actions may be considered reckless driving:

  • Racing
  • Repeatedly swerving across lanes
  • Disregarding traffic signals
  • Intentionally driving with defective brakes
  • Excessive speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Illegally passing other vehicles
  • Texting while driving
  • Driving on the sidewalk
  • Daredevil behaviors
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road

If you were charged with reckless driving in Orange County for any of these actions, you need to contact a skilled Orange County traffic violation lawyer.

Can I Be Arrested for Reckless Driving?

Yes, you can be arrested for reckless driving in California. The police may pull you over and arrest you for reckless driving or issue you a moving citation. But you will likely be arrested if you do something dangerous on the highway, like racing.

Are there Different Types of Reckless Driving

There are two types of reckless driving in California: they are:

Wet Reckless Driving

This happens when a DUI is reduced, and instead of facing felony charges, you face a wet driving charge. For this, you’ll need an Orange County DUI defense attorney to fight for your rights.

Dry Reckless Driving

This is a normal reckless driving charge with no alcohol involved. It will appear on your record but won’t affect you in case of a DUI conviction in the future. A dry reckless driving charge needs the skill and knowledge of an Orange County traffic violation lawyer with experience in handling reckless driving cases.

Is Reckless Driving a Felony or A Misdemeanor in California?

If you’re in California, a simple reckless driving charge is a misdemeanor. But if the act causes injury, it becomes a more severe and complicated charge. If your reckless driving charge involved injuring another person, it could become a felony.

CVC Section 23105 allows a basic reckless driving charge to be converted to a felony if it causes this type of harm to the person:

  • Concussion
  • A broken or fractured bone
  • Unconsciousness
  • Brain injury
  • Serious body disfigurement
  • Organ dysfunction
  • Wounds needing an excessive amount of suturing
  • Paralysis

The prosecutor would have the ability to choose between charging you with a felony or misdemeanor if your reckless driving caused one or more of these injuries to another driver, passenger, or pedestrian. You shouldn’t face the prosecution alone in such circumstances. Your traffic violation attorney in Orange County will protect your rights and defend you in court.

What Are the Penalties for Reckless Driving in Orange County?

A reckless driving charge can have more serious consequences than a basic traffic violation. You may be facing fines of up to $1,000 and a jail sentence of up to 90 days. In addition to this, your vehicle may be impounded for up to 30 days. You may also be forced to complete two years’ probation.

You may face higher charges if you have a previous reckless driving record or caused an injury. If you were drunk driving at the time, one to two years might be added to your probation. Therefore, don’t face these charges alone. Let an experienced Laguna Hills traffic violation lawyer guide you.

What Other Consequences Will a Reckless Driving Conviction Have On Me?

Besides the fines and prison time, a reckless driving conviction may greatly impact your everyday life. Two points may be added to your driver’s license and will likely increase your insurance costs. You may also be facing a potential license suspension of up to six months by the judge or DMV. Potential landlords, employers, and loan officers may also view your criminal history.

When Should I Contact a Reckless Driving Attorney?

The best time to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney in Orange County is immediately after you are arrested. The sooner you get the ball rolling, the better. And when your defense attorney arrives, you need to answer all questions truthfully for better and effective representation and defense.

Aggressive and Professional Attorneys Ready to Fight for Your Rights and Freedom

A reckless driving conviction can ruin your career and reputation. But you can use various defenses to fight these charges. You’ll need the help of a knowledgeable reckless driving defense lawyer with the resources and skills to defend you in court.

Our Laguna Hills criminal defense law firm is highly experienced and skilled in winning this battle for you. You need someone who has the expertise to plan and execute a well-crafted defense strategy. If you’ve found yourself in a reckless driving situation, let us help you. Get in touch with us today by calling to book a FREE consultation.