Even if you’ve never done it yourself, someone has probably warned you at some point that driving without shoes on is a crime. Sometimes they will claim it’s an infraction. Sometimes they’ll say it’s a form of reckless driving. Whatever you may have heard though, Vista reckless driving attorney Peter M. Liss wants you to know that there’s nothing against the law about driving barefoot.
As a matter of fact, not only is driving barefoot totally legal in the state of California (and the rest of the country), but most Vista criminal traffic offense lawyers will point out that it’s actually safer than driving with certain other types of footwear -particularly really tall or chunky heels. Yet for some reason, this idea is one of the top urban legends when it comes to the vehicle code.
Even though driving without shoes is legal, it is important to note that if you are involved in an accident and the law enforcement agent at the scene believes your bare feet were somehow responsible for causing the crash, you could be cited for negligent (though not reckless) driving. The same could happen if you were changing the station on your car radio when an accident occurred.
So if driving barefoot isn’t reckless, then what is? Well, reckless driving occurs when someone operates a vehicle with a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property. While that may sound a little vague, examples of reckless driving include driving on the sidewalk, swerving into an oncoming lane, or purposefully ignoring traffic lights or stop signs. Essentially, the behavior has to be dangerous and purposeful. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor charge that could leave you behind bars. If someone is injured in a reckless driving accident, the reckless driver could even be charged with a felony.
Like most criminal charges, there are defenses against reckless driving -if you were in an emergency situation, for example. If you have been accused of reckless driving, you should not attempt to defend yourself to the police, but instead insist on speaking with a Vista misdemeanor traffic crime attorney as soon as possible.
If you have any questions about driving recklessly or operating a vehicle barefooted, please call Vista DUI defense lawyer Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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