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3 Things YOU Should Know About Reckless Driving in Arizona

September 10, 2022

Reckless driving in Arizona is a major moving traffic violation characterized by dangerous driving behavior and can have an adverse effect on both your driver’s license,  and cost of your auto insurance.  Getting pulled over for this in Arizona is much more severe than being pulled over for a regular Civil traffic ticket. The resulting conviction in Arizona is a class 2 – Criminal Misdemeanor, often punishable by fines, imprisonment, or suspension of driving privileges. 

At Jeff GOULD Law, we know that a criminal conviction of any type, even a misdemeanor, on your record can have terrible consequences on all aspects of your life. Take a look below at everything you should know about reckless driving in Arizona. 

What is Reckless Driving in Arizona?

According to A.R.S. 28-693, the charge entails an individual operating a vehicle with complete disregard for the safety of surrounding persons or property. This means disobeying standard Arizona driving laws, putting themselves and others at risk for injury or death. 

Because this conviction in Arizona is a class 2 misdemeanor, it is a jailable offense. This type of crime carries heavy penalties, including points on a license (or even jail time, though this is not likely if it is a first offense). 

How do you get a Reckless Driving Charge in Arizona?

The first step in avoiding a traffic violation is to obey all Arizona driving  laws, especially posted speed limits. While we all know that driving above the speed limit can result in a speeding ticket, it is less commonly known that speeding could constitute a reckless driving charge.

Speeding alone rarely constitutes a charge. However, driving more than 25 miles over the posted speed limit could carry charges. The same is true when speeding is combined with other negligent actions. For instance, even if you are not driving more than 25 miles above the speed limit, a charge may apply if you are speeding on a dark, winding road or in a highly congested area or a posted construction zone. 

An individual risks a charge for this when law enforcement personnel observe the individual operating their vehicle with “reckless disregard for the safety of themselves or others.” Just like any other traffic ticket, the officer will pull the driver over, review their information, make a determination based on facts/evidence and may issue a ticket.

However, unlike any other civil traffic ticket, how an officer determines “what is considered reckless” can be left up to a number of factors. Unfortunately the laws surrounding what constitutes these actions in Arizona are vague: but common examples include excessive speeding, illegal passing, tailgating, swerving through traffic, or failing to stop for pedestrians at a walkway. 

Consequences of Reckless Driving in Arizona

A conviction in Arizona carries severe penalties that can have ramifications well beyond the specifics of the ticket. An increase in insurance rates, fines, and injury to yourself or another individual are just some of the possible consequences.

In Arizona, this is a serious moving violation and places 8 points on a driver’s license. An accumulation of 8 or more points is grounds to have your license suspended for up to 12 months and/or the requirement of attending traffic school. While the penalties are much more severe for a repeat offender, these ramifications are serious business regardless of whether this is a first offense. 

More specifically, there are several additional penalties in Arizona, including but not limited to: maximum of 6 months of jail time; maximum fine of up to $2500; and/or up to 2 years of probation.  These are very real possible consequences.

Many defenses can be used when fighting these charges in Arizona:  Exposing subjective only or misleading or false police reports; lack of objective evidence that the recklessness took place in the first place; or,  incorrect procedures when issuing the charges are all ways a charge could be dismissed. At Jeff GOULD Law, the Attorney in YOUR Corner, we are committed to providing a professional and thorough defense of your freedoms. Facing the possibility of having a criminal conviction on your record is stressful. As attorneys with years of experience helping clients navigate serious legal concerns, we aggressively represent and protect your rights and interests.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this blog/site is NOT, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.  It is for general informational use only.  You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Further, this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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