How Does Utah Law Define Reckless Driving?
Utah Code 41-6a-528 defines Reckless Driving as follows:
(1) A person is guilty of reckless driving who operates a vehicle:
(a) in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property; or
(b) while committing three or more moving traffic violations under Title 41, Chapter 6a, Traffic Code, in a series of acts occurring within a single continuous period of driving covering three miles or less in total distance.
What are the consequences of Reckless Driving?
Reckless Driving Violations are treated very seriously by prosecutors and the court and can have both criminal and driver license consequences. Reckless Driving is a Class B Misdemeanor punishable by 0-180 days in jail and a minimum fine of up to $1940. In addition to jail and fines, if you are convicted of Reckless Driving, you could be ordered to complete a defensive driving course—but more importantly, there are numerous collateral consequences, such as loss of driver license if you accrue too many points on your driver license, and your insurance rates could skyrocket. Utah’s Driver License Point System allows a driver to accrue up to 200 points in 3 years before your license can be suspended for 3 months to 1 year. A Reckless Driving charge is worth 80 points against your license. (For more information, see http://publicsafety.utah.gov/highwaypatrol/faq/faq1.html#Points System)
Arrested for a Reckless Driving?
We can help you avoid or reduce the serious consequences of a Reckless Driving violation! The definition of Reckless Driving is very vague. What one person may consider “wanton and willful disregard” may be very different from what another person may think; likewise, what may be “wanton and willful disregard” in one situation may not be in another. For example, driving 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit in a residential neighborhood with children playing may be considered Reckless Driving, whereas driving 25 MPH over the posted speed limit on the interstate may not. So Reckless Driving charges can be challenged based on the circumstances at the time the offense was allegedly committed.
The other way to be found guilty is if it is proven that the driver committed 3 moving traffic violations in one single driving episode. So if you can convince the judge or jury that not all of the 3 alleged violations were committed, the Reckless Driving charge cannot be proven either. Finally, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, as well as your driver and criminal history, we may be able to avoid a conviction and the driver license consequences of the Reckless Driving violation by negotiating a Plea in Abeyance agreement with the prosecutor that would result in a dismissal of the charge following successful completion of probation and prevent a conviction from being entered and reported to the DLD.
Utah Point System information: http://publicsafety.utah.gov/highwaypatrol/faq/faq1.html#Points System)