Wisconsin Reckless Driving Penalties

Wisconsin Reckless Driving Penalties

Getting reckless driving charges is scary, but depending on the circumstances of your case, those charges can be reduced or dismissed. Reckless driving law prohibits drivers from endangering the lives of others by operating their vehicles negligently. Since the law does not describe in detail or specify what negligent operation of a vehicle means, there are many types of driving behavior that can be called negligent. You should hire an experienced reckless driving lawyer to review your case and suggest options that you may need to take.

Types of Reckless Driving

You can be charged with reckless driving if you do the following:

  • Speeding excessively
  • Driving outside of lanes of traffic
  • Aggressive driving and road rage
  • Running red lights at intersections
  • Blocking normal flow of traffic
  • Driving while under the influence or OWI
  • Texting while driving
  • Eating behind the wheel

After negotiation with your lawyer the prosecutor may reduce your OWI charges to reckless driving charges, which may result in lower fines and less severe penalties. Since there are factors such as the weather that can cause someone to drive recklessly, the prosecution has to prove that the driver had wilful disregard for safety in order to qualify as reckless driving. Remember that even when you drive recklessly where no one or no property is at risk, your life is still at risk and that is enough for you to get a reckless driving charge.

Penalties For Reckless Driving

Wisconsin Reckless Driving PenaltiesJust like OWI/DUI charges, reckless driving charges get more severe depending on how many reckless driving convictions you have in your record. But the penalties for reckless driving are usually not as severe as those of an OWI. A reckless driving offender faces the following penalties:

  • Fines of up to $200 and 6 demerit points on driving record for a first offense
  • Fines of $50-$500 and one year in jail for repeated offense within a four year period
  • Fines of $300-$2,000 and up to 30 days in prison for reckless driving that leads to a minor injury
  • Up to $10,000 in fines and up to three and a half years in prison for reckless driving that leads to serious injuries

Another consequence you may face for a reckless driving conviction is that your insurance rates may skyrocket. Most insurance companies look at their customers’ or potential customers’ records before deciding on the monthly premiums they should pay.

A Skilled Reckless Driving Lawyer

The outcome of your case may be determined by the lawyer that you hired to represent you. A skilled lawyer will be able to look at your case and determine whether or not you should plead guilty. Sometimes the prosecution side offers a deal that involves the accused pleading guilty and getting lesser charge or attending a driver’s safety class in exchange. This is not the solution for all cases because pleading guilty means the reckless driving conviction will end up in your record. Various employers, landlords and many institutions prefer that their applicants have a clean record. A criminal defense lawyer can strongly present your case in court for a fair sentence.