Reckless & Careless Driving

Traffic Offense Lawyers in Jersey City NJ

In Hudson County, New Jersey, careless driving charges typically append to speeding, reckless driving, and eluding violations. Careless driving, while less severe than reckless driving (see below), can carry penalties that warrant your attention. Also, police generally issue this ticket to a driver deemed at fault following a motor vehicle accident. With major roadways that include the New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway and Route 1 & 9, Hudson County receives a great deal of commuter and residential traffic. The Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall has been representing defendant’s charged with various traffic offenses, whether it be driving while suspended, leaving the scene of an accident, tailgating, speeding or careless driving in towns like Jersey City, Hoboken, Secaucus, West New York and Bayonne for over fifteen years. Our office has over 100 years of combined experience on staff, including over twenty-five years of prior prosecuting. If you would like to set up a free initial consultation with any one of our eight Jersey City traffic defense attorneys, please contact our office at (201) 309-1800. Now here is some important information on the offense of careless and reckless driving in New Jersey.

Secaucus NJ Traffic Offense Attorneys

What is Careless Driving in NJ?

To be convicted for careless driving, the State must demonstrate the following beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant:

  1. Drove a vehicle carelessly, or without due caution and circumspection,
  2. In a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger,
  3. A person or property.

Where a person is suffering from a disease which he knows, or which a reasonable person should know, makes him subject to fainting, or weak spells, or seizures of a sort which may imperil his control of the vehicle, it may indicate a lack of due care for the person to drive on a public highway and may subject them to a careless driving charge. Also, similar to reckless driving charges, driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor may subject you to a careless driving violation.

What are the Penalties for a Careless Driving in Hudson County, NJ?

Unlike reckless driving, there are no enhanced penalties for a second or subsequent offense of careless driving in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Careless driving is a lesser included offense of reckless driving. The fines for careless driving can reach up to $200.00, if convicted. Additionally, if convicted for careless driving then the court may attach two (2) points to your license as well. It only takes twelve (12) points for the court to have grounds for suspension of a license. Depending on your insurance, you may also be subjected to increased insurance premiums because of points on your license, thus revealing “hidden” charges involved with a careless driving violation.

Bayonne NJ Traffic Offense Lawyers

What is Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving is a charge that commonly accompanies speeding tickets or other traffic violations. However, its commonplace does not detract from the seriousness of the charge. Depending on the number of prior convictions, you may be subject to up to $500.00 in fines and three (3) months in prison. As mentioned above, the attractions and major roadways located in Monmouth County are a major reason for the high frequency of these charges.

Hows Does the Prosecutor Prove Reckless Driving?

To convict on a reckless driving charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. That the defendant drove heedlessly (i.e. unmindful or thoughtlessly),
  2. In willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others,
  3. In a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger,
  4. A person or property

As indicated by the third element of the offense of reckless driving, there is no requirement that actual harm to persons or property occur. Rather a likelihood to endanger through the defendant’s driving is sufficient. Evidence that the defendant operated the vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is sufficient to support a violation for reckless driving. For this reason, charges for Driving While Intoxicated will typically be accompanied by charges for reckless driving.

What are the Penalties For a Reckless Driving Conviction?

The penalties associated with reckless driving in Monmouth County, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-96, will fluctuate depending on the number of prior offenses the defendant may have committed. If convicted for a first offense, the defendant may be punished by imprisonment in the Monmouth County jail for up to sixty (60) days, along with a fine between upwards of $200.00. If convicted for a second or subsequent offense, the defendant may serve a term of imprisonment up to three (3) months, and a fine up to $500.00.

Traffic Lawyers in Hudson County NJ

The Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall has over 100 years of combined experience on staff. Our office has the skill set required to successfully protect your licenses. Convictions for either of the aforementioned offenses above could lead to a suspension of your driver’s licenses. If you would like to set up a free initial consultation with any one of our eight Jersey City traffic defense lawyers, please contact our office at (201) 309-1800. Our attorneys are available 24/7 to answer any questions you might have.