Arizona residents often do not realize the consequences or penalties associated with a reckless driving charge. Many are under the misunderstanding that it is similar to receiving a speeding ticket. Others think it is simply a matter of paying a fine. The fact of the matter is that reckless driving is a misdemeanor in our state and it carries the potential of fines, jail time, and a permanent criminal record. I cannot stress enough that if you have been charged with the offense, in Phoenix or elsewhere in the state, then you need to contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately.
Arizona charges reckless driving as a misdemeanor and it results in a criminal record
Reckless driving occurs in Arizona when one is caught operating their vehicle with a great disregard for the safety of others. First offenses are charged as a class 2 misdemeanor and carries a sentence of up to four months in jail. One convicted of a first offense will also have their driver’s license suspended for up to ninety days. If one is convicted of a second offense within twenty-four months of their first conviction then they will be sentenced for a class 1 misdemeanor and will serve a sentence ranging from twenty days to six months. The second conviction will also carry a fine of up to $2,500. Just as important is the fact that those convicted will also have a criminal record which can haunt them when it comes to employment, seeking housing, and other items requiring a background check.
As shown by the above discussion, reckless driving is not just “another speeding ticket” in Arizona. One will face criminal charges in either the Municipal Courts or the Justice Courts, depending on where the incident occurred. After the initial arraignment the Judge, or Justice of the Peace, will set a trial date. The defendant’s options will be to attempt to defend the charges or to enter into a plea agreement. Unfortunately, many defendants arrive at their initial arraignment not understanding the gravity of the situation and are surprised to learn that it is different from traffic court. Do not make this mistake. Contact an attorney immediately if you have been charged.
Contact a Phoenix Reckless Driving Lawyer Immediately if you are facing charges
Contact a Phoenix reckless driving lawyer immediately if you have been charged anywhere in Maricopa County. An attorney will be able to analyze the arrest reports and determine if there are defenses available against the charges. Also, counsel will be able to assist with charges which often accompany reckless driving such as a DUI or extreme DUI. Most importantly, legal representation can help ensure that you receive the best outcome possible.
I also represent defendants in Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Gilbert, as well as Pima County residents in Tucson and others throughout the state.