Getting a ticket for speeding is serious in North Carolina and can result in large fines, points on your driving record, and increased insurance costs. However, you may not just be ticketed. You could be charged with reckless driving, which is a crime in North Carolina.
What Is Reckless Driving in North Carolina?
Reckless driving is broadly defined in North Carolina, and much of the decision on whether to charge someone with this offense is up to the officer. It is defined as:
- Driving carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of other individuals
- Driving without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger a person or property
When Is Speeding Reckless Driving?
Whether speeding will be charged as reckless driving will depend on the posted speed limit where you were stopped for speeding. As the speed limit increases, the threshold decreases for a reckless driving charge. Here are examples of when speeding is considered reckless driving:
- Driving 15 mph over the speed limit
- Driving 50 mph where the posted speed limit is 35 mph
- Driving 70 mph where the posted speed limit is 50 mph
- Driving 75 mph where the posted speed limit is 70 mph
What Are the Penalties for Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving is a Class 2 misdemeanor. If convicted, you would have a permanent criminal record. In addition, you could face these punishments:
- Jail sentence of up to 60 days
- Fine of up to $1,000
- Four points on your driving record
- Driver’s license suspension
- Increased insurance costs
Our Dedicated Legal Team Is Here to Help
If you were charged with speeding as a traffic citation or as reckless driving in Charlotte, you may have strong defenses that can help you get the charges dismissed or reduced to a less serious traffic infraction with less severe penalties. This may be true even if you believe you are guilty.
Let our experienced traffic ticket lawyers identify your possible defenses and fight to achieve the best possible outcome in your criminal case. To learn how we have helped other clients facing charges similar to yours and about your options, contact our Charlotte office to schedule a free consultation today.