Reckless driving is one of the more serious traffic offenses that the state of New York can accuse someone of committing. It is not a simple citation like speeding or failing to use a blinker. It is a criminal offense that can result in a criminal record in addition to penalties imposed by the judge.
Therefore, motorists implicated in a reckless driving case are more likely than those accused of a basic traffic infraction to seek to defend against the charges they’re facing in court. Given the possible penalties, anyone accused of reckless driving may be eager to prove that they weren’t actually intentionally unsafe at the wheel. These are two of the more common ways that people defend against allegations of unsafe driving practices.
Providing a reasonable explanation
Perhaps there was a medical emergency underway, and the driver ignored traffic laws in their desperation to reach a hospital as quickly as possible. Maybe there was an issue with the vehicle that no one knew about, like an inaccurate speedometer, that led to someone unintentionally breaking the law. What seems like reckless driving to a police officer could be perfectly reasonable to the people in the vehicle. When there is a straightforward explanation for why someone drove in a way that seemed reckless to a police officer, the context that their lawyer provides in court could make all the difference to their case.
Undermining the police officer’s narrative
A reckless driving allegation often depends almost exclusively on a police officer’s interpretation of the situation. It is their belief that someone did something intentionally unsafe, and they will build a narrative in court accordingly. Reframing the situation and undermining the police officer’s perspective or neutrality can be a viable means of raising questions about whether a motorist was actually reckless at the wheel.
A successful defense can protect a motorist from having a criminal record that might show up whenever an employer or educational institution performs a background check. Understanding that there are ways to fight back against reckless driving charges may help those worried about what a recent traffic stop may mean for their future.