Top Tips for Fighting a Reckless Driving Ticket

Did you know that some of New York State’s top speed traps are on I-90? From Cheektowaga all the way to Albany, authorities are generously handing out tickets for speeding and other violations, including reckless driving. 

But just because an officer gave you a ticket doesn’t mean the case is closed. The whole affair may just be beginning, especially if you believe you are innocent of the charge. Fortunately, you can challenge a police officer’s reckless driving ticket under the right circumstances and get your case dismissed.

What are reckless driving and the associated penalties in New York?

Reckless driving in New York can be generally defined as driving in a manner that unreasonably interferes with the flow of traffic or is unreasonably dangerous. It is not an infraction but a misdemeanor, which means the consequences of a conviction are elevated above less-serious traffic offenses.

Common situations that give rise to reckless driving tickets are:

  • Excessive speeding
  • Hitting or crashing through official roadblocks or barricades
  • Excessive lane swerving
  • Dangerous lane changing at high speeds
  • Road rage actions while driving

Penalties for the offense may include:

  • Jail time
  • Significant fine
  • Points on your license

Because reckless driving is considered to be a crime in the state of New York, you will have a criminal record, likely for the rest of your life, and New York generally does not allow for criminal record expungement. As such, in most cases, fighting a reckless driving ticket is worth it. 

Additionally, if you are a commercial driver, your livelihood is likely in jeopardy. After your first offense, you are permitted to keep your license. However, upon the conviction of a second offense, your commercial driver’s license will be suspended for 60 days.

Top Tips for Fighting a Reckless Driving Ticket

Reckless driving is a crime in New York, which means you should never downplay the seriousness of the offense simply because it deals with traffic laws. To fight the charge, there are specific proven tips and strategies that can get your charge reduced or dismissed. 

Speak with an Experienced Lawyer

With your future on the line, you would do well to hire an experienced New York reckless driving ticket lawyer for your defense. As explained, reckless driving is no simple traffic ticket but a criminal act that can have lasting consequences on your life. 

Prove You Didn’t Commit a Violation

If you can prove that you committed no violation whatsoever, then the charge will go away. Depending on the circumstances, achieving this may be quite easy or somewhat difficult. Various forms of evidence will be available to help your case, such as traffic, dash cam, and other types of video and witness testimony.

Prove There Were No Aggravating Acts 

A reckless driving charge requires that a driver commit an aggravating act that elevates a standard traffic violation to a crime. For example, speeding is an infraction but turns into a misdemeanor if you go a certain speed over the posted speed limit. If you can prove there were no aggravating acts, you will only face a traffic violation.

Prove Your Driving Was Justified Under the Circumstances

In some cases, an act normally considered reckless driving may be defensible if done to avoid a greater danger. Imagine swerving out of your lane to avoid a stalled car on the highway. Proving you drove the way you did to prevent an accident or other consequence is a strong defense against a reckless driving charge.

Avoiding a Reckless Driving Ticket

If you’re the victim of a speed trap on I-90, or anywhere else, for that matter, remember that you don’t have to pay a reckless driving ticket if you have a valid reason to fight it. By employing one or more of the tips listed above, you can keep your record clean and save hundreds of dollars. Call New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers in Syracuse, NY, today to discuss your case.

David Hammond, Esq. is a traffic offense lawyer and prosecutor that has over a decade of experience fighting for the rights of service members and their families. He served nine years and went on two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer. He then joined the Reserves and moved to Syracuse to be near his family. Not only does he defend the rights of Central New Yorkers, but he also has a veteran-focused practice. David represents servicemen and women before the military appellate courts and takes cases to fix service members’ military records. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact David by clicking here.