Reckless Driving


Reckless driving is a misdemeanor in the state of California.

Reckless driving occurs when a driver operates a vehicle without regard for anyone or anything around the moving vehicle’s proximity.  In California, Reckless Driving is considered a Misdemeanor Offense.  This means that the citing officer can issue a ticket or go further.  The driver can also be taken into physical custody, depending on the situation and the officer’s independent judgment.

Reckless driving consists of unnecessary sharp turns and dangerous maneuvers that put the safety of innocent people at risk.  In addition, the combination of traffic violations for swerving, too many lane changes, and speeding could land a driver with a reckless driving charge.  If convicted, the driver will have the Misdemeanor Charge on their record.  This WILL appear anytime a background check is performed.

Most of the time, law enforcement keeps their eyes open for possible signs of a DUI when they are citing a driver for driving recklessly.  Often, a reckless driving is also driving under the influence.  When coupled, the penalty is even more severe.

The punishment for reckless driving is quite heavy.  A driver could spend 5 to 90 days in jail.  Fines could be levied in the range of $500 to $5000.  If the reckless driving resulted in the injury of another person besides the driver, imprisonment could be

  • from a Minimum of 30 days to Six months,
  • fines could be a $1000 to $10,000.

In addition, the vehicle used during the incident may also be impounded for 30 days and the driver’s license suspended for one month. In some cases, when the insurance company finds out about the reckless driving violation, the insurance policy is cancelled and the driver is made to pay higher premiums.