Providing Skilled Legal Representation for Careless and Reckless Driving Accidents
Determined Delaware Car Accident Lawyers on Your Side
Whether a motorist is out running an errand or taking a long, leisurely drive, it is not unusual to encounter at least one occurrence of careless or reckless driving. It is actually quite common to see other drivers speeding, cutting others off, not watching the road, or driving in other ways that show a disregard for safety. Many people do not even realize how badly they are driving, since their minds are elsewhere.
Delaware has laws that apply to both careless and reckless driving, and if caught, these drivers will likely face penalties. Violations for careless driving, also called “inattentive” driving, apply to motorists who are not completely aware of their actions when at the wheel.
Reckless driving is more serious and is considered to be a criminal offense. Depending on the severity, it can lead to fines, license suspensions, and even jail time for perpetrators.
Inattention and Intention
What are the differences between careless and reckless driving?
Careless driving occurs when people do not pay enough attention to safety on the road. These individuals operate their motor vehicles without enough focus on the task at hand. Obvious and frequent examples of this are drivers that text, email, adjust the radio or a GPS, or are otherwise distracted when behind the wheel. Many people do this so regularly that they are barely aware of what they are doing.
Careless driving accidents can also be caused by drivers who do not realize how fast they are driving on a slippery road, do not understand how to proceed at a four-way stop, and similar. In short, these drivers are not paying proper attention when they should be.
Reckless drivers can be more dangerous because they are willfully ignoring the law, with disregard for others. Their driving behaviors have purpose and intent; they are aware of what they are doing and are not concerned with the aftermath.
Tailgating another driver who is driving slower, running a red light, zig-zagging through traffic, or driving under the influence can all be interpreted as reckless driving.
Fines and Penalties
Although every case is different, the consequences for careless driving violations in Delaware are somewhat nominal compared to other infractions. For a first offense, drivers may receive a $25 to $75 fine; repeated offenses within three years carry fines of $50 to $95. The offender’s driving record will also have points added.
If the careless driving led to someone else getting injured there may be more penalties, such as community service, a fine of up to $550, license suspension, and mandatory driver education courses. This is followed by a hearing after a year; at that time, it must be shown that the driver met the imposed requirements.
First and subsequent offenses for reckless driving are classified as misdemeanors. A first offense can result in fines ranging from $100 to $300, possible incarceration of 10 to 30 days, and six points on the driver’s license. The next violation can lead to higher fines from $300 to $1,000, 30 to 60 days in jail, and six more points.
For all of these offenders, license suspension is also possible.
Pleas and Options
Though Delaware does have laws to govern careless and reckless driving, sometimes it can be hard to decipher which caused a crash after it has happened. Unless there is clear evidence, it may not be easy to prove what the driver was doing behind the wheel at the time of the accident. Law enforcement officers can give reports, although in most cases they arrive after the fact.
Some drivers can try to reduce a reckless driving charge to careless driving. Other plea options include dismissed charges, or the lesser charge of a traffic violation.
A driver that has been charged with driving under the influence may have the choice of reducing it to reckless driving. This situation is called a “wet reckless” plea. If you are facing a charge of careless or reckless driving, it is in your best interest to have a Delaware car accident lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC represent you.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Individuals Involved in Careless and Reckless Driving Accidents
If you were involved in a careless or reckless driving accident, having effective legal representation can make a world of difference for your case. Contact an experienced Delaware car accident lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. For a free consultation, call us at 302-888-1221 or complete an online form. We represent clients in Delaware, including Wilmington, Dover, Middletown and Newark; across Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, Delaware County, Chester County; and across New Jersey.