Careless driving and reckless driving are some of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents in the state of Pennsylvania. In fact, receiving a careless driving charge or reckless driving charge is easier than you might think, as they can arise out of an accident investigation, an officer pulling you over for talking or texting while driving, or a standard traffic stop.
A conviction for careless driving or reckless driving not only comes with steep fines, but will impact your driver's license and insurance rates as well. A skilled and knowledgeable traffic crime defense attorney in Philadelphia can fight to have your careless driving or reckless driving case dismissed or for a not guilty verdict.
Philadelphia Careless or Reckless Driving Defense Attorney
A conviction for careless driving or reckless driving may not seem like a weighty charge when compared to other charges like DUI, but it can reach farther than you may realize, such as adding points to your driving record or increasing the cost of insurance. If you have been charged with careless driving or reckless driving in Philadelphia, Lento Law Firm can build a case that will fight for a not guilty plea or dismissal to prevent these consequences.
Joseph Lento has years of experience in the Philadelphia court system and knows what it takes to achieve a favorable outcome in careless driving and reckless driving cases. To see what Lento Law Firm can do for your Philadelphia careless or reckless driving case, call (215) 535-5353 today and schedule your free initial case consultation.
Information About Careless and Reckless Driving in PA
- Careless Driving and Reckless Driving in Pennsylvania Defined
- Penalties for Careless or Reckless Driving in Philadelphia
Though careless driving and reckless driving seem like the same term from an everyday perspective, from a legal perspective they have one very important and distinct difference: intent. Careless driving is defined by 75 Pa. Cons. Stat § 3714 as any person who drives a vehicle in careless disregard for the safety of persons or property. Careless disregard generally means that the person was acting negligently, but did not intend to commit any crime and/or was not aware that his or her actions could cause injury.
Reckless driving is defined by 75 Pa. Cons. Stat § 3736 as any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. To act with willful and wanton disregard is to be aware both of your conduct and that it poses a high risk of injury, but follow through with the act anyway. Thus, reckless driving requires an element of intent. Intent can be difficult for the prosecution to prove, but not impossible. An experienced Philadelphia traffic crime defense lawyer can fight to disprove any element of intent and work to get your careless driving or reckless driving charges dismissed.
Both careless driving and reckless driving are summary offenses in Pennsylvania, which is the lowest category of offenses, the next-lowest category being misdemeanors. However, this does not mean you should discount a careless driving or reckless driving charge in Philadelphia. A conviction for a summary offense often comes with fines that can be steep, and even up to 90 days spent in jail or on probation.
What penalties you face for a careless driving charge depends on the circumstances surrounding the offense. Careless driving resulting in serious bodily injury, for instance, comes with a $250 fine, while careless driving resulting in unintentional death comes with a $500 fine. Serious bodily injury, as defined by Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2301, is any bodily injury that causes serious and/or permanent disfigurement, impairment or loss of any bodily function, or serious risk of death. A conviction for careless driving will also result in three points being added to your driving record.
Reckless driving is punishable by a $200 fine, three points added to your record, and a six-month driver's license suspension. Both charges will likely result in incidental penalties as well, like an increase in insurance premiums and difficulty pursuing certain careers. A skilled and knowledgeable Philadelphia criminal defense attorney can fight to protect your rights, your driving privileges, and your future from penalties and sanctions such as these.
Finding the Best Careless and Reckless Driving Defense Attorney in Philadelphia
If you are facing charges of careless driving or reckless driving in Philadelphia, the consequences of conviction can negatively impact you more than you may think. Lento Law Firm can begin defending against these charges as soon as you are issued the citation.
Qualified Philadelphia criminal defense attorney Joseph Lento will build a customized, comprehensive defense to your careless or reckless driving charges and fight for a dismissal or other favorable outcome in your case. Your first consultation is free, so call (215) 535-5353 today and schedule yours.