Reckless driving penalties
In terms of traffic offenses, reckless driving is among the most serious. The penalties for reckless driving are significant, and usually include jail, fines, and the loss of your driver's license. The penalties for reckless driving vary greatly between states and are dependent on the particular circumstances of the case.
- Jail or prison. If you are charged with reckless driving, you could spend up to a year in jail if convicted. The crime can, however, be charged as a felony in some states, so someone convicted can face up to a year in a state prison if convicted. When reckless driving results in an injury, felony charges are often filed.
- Fines. People who are convicted of reckless driving usually receive fines as a punishment. If charged with a crime in a state that has a higher fine, the fine can vary widely, but it usually ranges from several hundred to several thousand dollars.
- Probation. A reckless driving conviction can also result in probation, though this is highly dependent upon the driving history of both the driver and the circumstances of the case. You will be required to comply with specific conditions if you are sentenced to probation, such as finding a job, visiting your probation officer regularly, and not committing any crimes or other traffic violations. The court may revoke your probation if you violate its terms and force you to serve a jail or prison sentence instead. Typically, probation lasts 12 months or more.
- License suspension. If someone is convicted of reckless driving, their license may also be suspended or revoked. In most states, reckless driving is punishable by a minimum suspension of 30 days. The driver's license may also be revoked permanently if he or she has had previous convictions for reckless driving or other traffic violations.
Learn more: What is considered reckless driving speed?
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