People in Georgia typically don’t think of traffic violations as serious offenses. Most law-breaking in a vehicle will at most results in a traffic stop, a ticket and a slightly higher insurance premium.
While those consequences may be inconvenient or frustrating, they are minor in the grand scheme of things. However, sometimes allegations of bad driving can lead to much more serious penalties for the driver involved. Reckless driving is different than speeding or other traffic offenses. It is a more serious charge that carries more significant penalties.
Reckless driving is a misdemeanor criminal offense
Under Georgia state law, reckless driving is not a simple traffic infraction. Instead, it is a misdemeanor that can lead to up to $1,000 in fines or even 12 months in state custody. Unfortunately, the definition of reckless driving in Georgia is somewhat vague and leaves much to the interpretation of the police officer who pulls you over and the judge who hears your case.
Reckless driving involves acting in a way that you know is unsafe without concern for the impact those actions could have on others. A police officer could charge you with reckless driving if they pull you over for any behavior they think was unsafe and intentional.
Excessive speeding, running red lights, drag racing and driving the wrong way down a one-way street on purpose could all be reckless driving in the eyes of some police officers and judges. Not only are the consequences more serious for reckless driving allegations and speeding tickets are other traffic offenses, but a guilty plea will also mean that you have a criminal record.
If your traffic offense has turned into a criminal issue, it’s always worth defending. Experienced guidance may help you keep your freedom and your license.