How You Can Fight A Reckless Driving Charge
Depending on what state you were charged with reckless driving, it can be a serious charge. In some states, a conviction can come with a significant jail sentence and fines reaching into the thousands. In some states, a reckless driving conviction can stay on your record for many years. This could hurt your chances of securing a commercial driving job.
It is possible to fight a reckless driving charge and potentially win. There are some strategies that depend on you paying attention to details during your arrest and even possible tech problems that might have come up. Here are some ways you could fight a reckless driving charge.
Challenge The Reason For The Stop
The first step in fighting a reckless driving charge is to challenge the reason for the stop in the first place. In most states, the police need to have a reasonable idea that a driving infraction is occurring or has occurred before they can legally pull you over. For example, were you speeding excessively? Was there an accident? Were you driving erratically and weaving? If not, they had no real reason to stop you.
The police officer must also have followed strict guidelines and procedures once you were pulled over too. For example, they can't simply search your car unless they have a reasonable suspicion that you were drinking while driving, or otherwise intoxicated. They must ask you if it's ok to search your car before doing so unless they smell alcohol or drugs on your breath or from your car.
It's possible that if there wasn't any real reason for them pulling you over, or they didn't conduct a proper pull-over, the charges could be dismissed.
Prove It Wasn't You Driving
This might be a harder strategy to fight a reckless driving ticket but it isn't impossible. You can try to prove you were the wrong driver charged with reckless driving. If you were the passenger in the car and were still charged with driving, you can potentially prove you were not driving the car at the time of the arrest.
This could be proven by dashcam footage of your own car or the officer's car or using the officer's bodycam footage. If there were other witnesses, they can also attest to the fact that you weren't driving.
It is also possible the officer pulled over the wrong car and charged you instead of the driver of the vehicle who was actually driving recklessly. This could happen if you were driving and another car passed you at a high speed and the officer pulled you over by mistake. Dashcam footage might be able to prove this is true.
The same is true if the reckless driver caused an accident. Accident reconstruction teams can typically tell who actually caused an accident, while the first officers on the scene didn't see the accident and are taking the words of witnesses.
For more information, reach out to a company like Tolbert & Tolbert, LLP.