car speeding at nightThis is the next post in my series on the handling of reckless driving charges in Little Rock, Arkansas. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you or a loved one have been charged with reckless driving in our state. It is important to speak with counsel as soon as possible so that your representative has enough time to begin building a case on your behalf. In this article I will discuss what constitutes reckless driving in our state. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

Arkansas law defines reckless driving as operating a vehicle with a “wanton disregard” for the safety of others

Someone is guilty of reckless driving in Arkansas if they drive a vehicle with a “wanton disregard” for the safety of persons. This means that the individual is driving with an extreme lack of care for the well-being or rights of another person. It should be highlighted that this is different from a simple speeding ticket. In fact, the speed considered reckless driving in Arkansas is anything more than twenty miles-per-hour over the speed limit. Reckless driving can also be distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, running a red light or a stop sign, swerving in and out of lanes, etc.

An example of a common reckless driving charge is weaving in and out of lanes while excessively speeding and making little to no effort to slow down while pedestrians are nearby. This is considered reckless driving for multiple reasons. First, speeding itself can possibly constitute reckless driving if the person is going twenty miles-per-hour over the speed limit. Speeding is incredibly dangerous and reflects that the individual is not caring about the safety of those around them. Also, when pedestrians are near and someone is speeding, this shows an utter lack of care and a high potential for a dangerous situation. It should be noted that someone behaving in such a manner does not need to necessarily harm another person in order to receive a reckless driving charge. Rather, they only need to be driving with a “wanton disregard” for the safety of others.

A reckless driving conviction in Arkansas can result in a substantial fine and fees, as well as several weeks of jail time

Reckless driving charges are considered Class “B” misdemeanors. While this charge is not a felony, it is still incredibly serious. If an individual is convicted of reckless driving, they may be required to pay a fine or be sentenced to jail time. If you did not harm another person in the commission of your crime, a conviction can result in a minimum of five days and a maximum of ninety days in prison. This is in addition to the potential fines. Moreover, if this is not your first offense, then your punishment may be more severe.

In addition to these potential punishments, a reckless driving conviction can be detrimental to your criminal record and your personal life. Even though it is only a misdemeanor, a reckless driving conviction can pose negative consequences when seeking employment or housing. If you have been charged with a crime then it is important to retain an attorney to assist with your defense. Consulting with counsel will allow you to better understand your situation moving forward. Contact my office online or by telephone today to speak with a Little Rock criminal defense lawyer. I also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff, and throughout the remainder of Arkansas.