San Diego Reckless driving Attorney
If you have been arrested for dangerous, negligent or reckless driving under California Vehicle Code Section 23103 (VC), I can help you. I am Vista and San Diego reckless driving attorney Peter M. Liss. I have tried over 100 criminal jury trials and successfully defended many people arrested and charged with criminal traffic offenses, including reckless driving resulting in injury.
If you need a skilled, experienced reckless driving defense lawyer with a track record of success, please call me at (760) 643-4050 for a free consultation. You will receive top-quality representation for a reasonable fee.
About Reckless Driving Charges in San Diego: 23103 (VC)
Reckless driving charges can be incredibly intimidating, especially considering that most people charged with this serious offense have never even been arrested before. Fortunately, there is help and you can fight these charges and avoid a conviction, but only with the aid of a skilled reckless driving defense attorney.
Penalties for Reckless Driving 23103 (VC)
While most driving offenses are only infractions, resulting in criminal citations (traffic tickets), reckless driving is a misdemeanor crime in California, which means you could be arrested, forced to pay a fine of up to $1000, and even serve time in the county jail. If this happens, your vehicle may also be impounded and you will need to pay money to get your car back.
Even if you are not taken into custody after you were pulled over, you could still face a fine and imprisonment of up to 90 days. The fine and jail sentence can be increased even more if you have any previous offenses related to driving on your criminal record. Additionally, reckless driving convictions add two points to your California DMV driving record, which means you will likely pay more for your car insurance for years. You could even lose your driving privileges if you have enough points on your record.
Alternative sentences may be given in some instances. Because the potential penalties are severe, it is vital to obtain a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to obtain the best results under the particular facts and law of your case. Your criminal defense attorney’s knowledge of defenses, sentencing guidelines, and alternative sentencing options will be vital to obtaining the best outcome based on your specific circumstances.
Fighting Reckless Driving Charges
For you to be found guilty of reckless driving under 23103 (VC), the prosecutors must be able to show that you were 1) operating a vehicle on a highway or off-street parking facility 2) with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.
Fortunately, there is much leeway in defining “a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” To prove your guilt, the prosecutor must prove that you were both aware that your driving presented a risk to persons or property (meaning the activity was likely to result in bodily injury or property damage) and that you ignored the risk of harm.
Because the law is so specific about what constitutes reckless driving, you cannot be found guilty merely for operating a vehicle without your shoes. There’s simply no way to claim that a driver with bare feet is driving with a wanton or willful disregard for people or property.
Similar Charges to Reckless Driving
Unfortunately, many people facing a reckless driving charge will be charged with other offenses, including hit and run, driving under the influence (DUI), wet reckless, property damage, participating in a speed contest, injuries to other persons or excessive speeding.
Certain types of reckless driving can result in additional or enhanced charges in California. For example, if a driver is going over 100 MPH when the police stop him, he will face a speeding ticket for the separate charge of 22348(b) (VC) and a license suspension. Or, if someone was driving recklessly and caused an accident in which someone was injured, she could face felony charges.
If you have been accused of any of these crimes in addition to reckless driving, you must discuss the full extent of the case and the details leading up to your arrest with a lawyer. Doing so is the best way to determine whether your rights were violated during the traffic stop, whether you meet the legal standard for conviction of the specific charges and whether or not you may qualify for a plea bargain or alternative sentencing.