Reckless driving, or VTL 1212, is one of the most serious traffic offenses.
If found guilty of Reckless Driving in NY, you will have misdemeanor conviction. Additionally you will be given five points on your license and could be sentenced to jail for up to one year.
It is codified as section 1212 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL). Unlike typical traffic tickets which are merely traffic infractions and not criminal, VTL 1212 is a misdemeanor. Unlike typical traffic tickets, if you are found guilty of VTL 1212 you will have a criminal record, potentially go to jail, and have five points added to your license. Insurance companies understand the severity of VTL 1212 and typically increase your insurance premiums if you are convicted. Furthermore, police officers often issue a ticket for VTL 1212 along with another ticket which can result in enough points to suspend your license as well as requiring you to pay a Drivers Assessment Fee of $300 to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles. Given the serious nature of a VTL 1212 ticket, you should definitely hire an attorney if you get a reckless driving charge.
I was a prosecutor for four years in Brooklyn and I handled hundreds of VTL 1212 cases. I have also handled many of them as a defense attorney. I have an insider’s perspective on how to fight these cases. In order to be convicted of Reckless Driving, the police officer must establish not only that you violated a traffic law, but that in doing so, you created an unreasonable interference or put others in danger. In certain cases, this can be a powerful argument to win a case since there are many times when an officer will testify that a motorist violated a traffic law but fails to specify any aggravating circumstances that put others in dangers. The facts asserted by the police must lead to the clear conclusion that the defendant’s actions were not reasonable. There are numerous cases in which a police officer fails to establish that a motorist’s conduct put others at risk and therefore the case was dismissed.
It is a very good idea to make sure that your attorney is familiar with VTL 1212 - Reckless Driving, criminal law in general, and the courthouse in which your case is pending. I have handled countless VTL 1212 cases on both sides throughout New State and New York City. Please call for a free consultation.