In Arizona, per A.R.S. §28-693, “Reckless Driving” occurs when a person drives a vehicle with reckless disregard for the safety of other persons or property.
Watch this short video where David explains Reckless Driving in Arizona:
Sometimes prosecutors use this as a tool in plea negotiations regarding DUI cases. The prosecutor will offer the defendant the opportunity to plead guilty to the lesser offense of Reckless Driving, and dismiss the DUI charge. Depending on the strength of your case, this may be a wise decision because a Reckless Driving conviction does not require mandatory jail time for a first offense, whereas a DUI conviction usually does.
Need Reckless Driving Defense in Phoenix or Arizona? Contact DM Cantor if you have been charged with Reckless Driving. We are available 24/7 to review your case call 602-307-0808 or click here to fill out our contact form for a Free Consultation.
Possible Punishment for Reckless Driving
A first offense Reckless Driving can be charged as a class two (2) misdemeanor. A class two (2) misdemeanor carries a range of punishments including probation, up to four (4) months in jail, and a fine of $750.00 plus 84% surcharges. Additionally, the judge may order that the person’s driver’s license be suspended for up to ninety (90) days.
If a person is convicted of a second Reckless Driving charge within twenty-four (24) months of the first Reckless Driving conviction, then they can be charged with a class one (1) misdemeanor. The class one (1) misdemeanor penalties for a second offense Reckless Driving includes a mandatory minimum of twenty (20) days in jail, with up to an additional six (6) months in jail, and a fine of $2500.00 plus 84% surcharge can be imposed. The judge may also order your driver’s license to be revoked.
Possible Defenses for Reckless Driving
With a Reckless Driving charge, it must be shown that a person drove with reckless disregard for the safety of “persons or property.” If no other vehicles, pedestrians, or property were nearby (i.e., within “striking distance”), then it can be argued that no person or property was actually put at risk by the defendant’s conduct, even if it was reckless. Additionally, merely driving fast and weaving in and out of traffic does not qualify as Reckless Driving; this might qualify as “Aggressive Driving” or “Drag Racing”, but not “Reckless Driving”.
In a reckless driving case, the prosecutor will try to put forth various forms of evidence as to how the defendant drove recklessly and unreasonably, most often focusing on any speeding, alcohol intake, or any drug use by the defendant. It is our job to refute the state’s evidence that any of those factors occurred the way the prosecution has described. It will be important to interview all potential witnesses who were nearby (or passengers in your car) in order to demonstrate that you were not driving recklessly, and that you were driving reasonably.
Because we are a very aggressive law firm, we will attack your Reckless Driving charge, and any other charges that you may face, from all angles. There are numerous defenses that can be asserted in any criminal case. These defenses include challenges to your constitutional rights including a violation of your Miranda rights. In Arizona, the standard of whether any inculpatory statement (i.e., a statement which tends to admit guilt) is admissible into evidence is a “voluntariness” standard. If we can demonstrate that the police coerced you (i.e., intimidated or tricked you) into making a confession or inculpatory statement, or that they did not properly read you your Miranda rights, then we can suppress those statements and any evidence gathered as a direct result of those statements. The denial of your constitutional right to Counsel is another common defense which we often raise.
This occurs when a suspect is in custody and requests to speak to their attorney, but the request is denied and questioning continues. Other possible defenses that may apply if you are facing other charges as well as your Reckless Driving charge may include challenging the validity of any search warrant, or whether there were any “forensic flaws” during the investigation of your case. These forensic flaws could include exposing flawed procedures regarding blood, breath, and urine testing; fingerprints analysis; DNA testing; ballistics; gunshot residue testing; computer analysis/cloning hard drive procedures; forensic financial accounting reviews; etc.
Lastly, one of the most important defense tactics is exposing untruthful, sloppy, or misleading police reports which include everything from misstatements, false statements, flawed photo line-ups, and inaccurate crime scene reconstruction. It is important to hire a skilled and zealous attorney who knows all of the defenses to assert.
It is important to hire a skilled Reckless Driving Lawyer to defend you who has knowledge of all the possible defenses that may be asserted in your Reckless Driving case.
It is important to hire an AV® rated law firm (the highest possible rating by Martindale Hubbell®). Also David Michael Cantor is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization, who provides Arizona DUI Defense. In addition, the Firm and all of its lawyers are listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®. At DM Cantor, the majority of our Attorneys are ex-Prosecutors, and our Arizona DUI Defense team knows the system well. For a free initial consultation, call us at 602-307-0808 and speak to our Arizona Reckless Driving Defense team.