Bronx Aggressive Driving Lawyer
In the State of New York, driving in an aggressive manner—or reckless driving, as it is called under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law—is a criminal offense even if no collision results. This means that a conviction for this offense not only adds points to your driving record but also creates a criminal record and could even end with a jail sentence. It is essential that defendants facing allegations of aggressive driving be prepared to defend themselves.
A Bronx aggressive driving lawyer could help if you have received a summons to appear in criminal court to answer allegations of reckless driving. Your accomplished criminal defense attorney could work to help you understand the implications of this charge and prepare a defense in court designed to protect your driving privileges and freedom.
What is Aggressive Driving Under New York Law?
There is no specific offense called aggressive driving in the State of New York. Instead, New York Vehicle and Traffic Law §1212 considers the use of any motor vehicle in a way that “…unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public highway, or unreasonably endangers users of the public highway” to constitute the offense of “reckless driving.”
A police officer who makes an arrest for reckless driving is authorized to use their discretion when charging a defendant with this offense. For example, if a defendant is speeding on a road in The Bronx, the responding officer may use their judgement to determine if this constitutes recklessness under the above definition.
While one officer may classify a certain action as reckless, another may not. As a result, a court hearing the evidence is asked to make the same judgment call. While there is no exact list of what kind of driving is reckless, some common examples include:
- Excessive speeding
- Driving the wrong way down a one-way street
- Driving on a sidewalk
- Driving with excessive weight or unsecured cargo
A Bronx aggressive driving attorney could help a defendant better understand the legal definition of reckless driving and how to combat these allegations in court.
The Consequences for a Reckless Driving Conviction
Unlike most moving violations in The Bronx, a conviction for a reckless driving charge is a criminal matter. The officer responding to the scene has the authority to either arrest the accused party or release them with a summons to appear in criminal court. It is mandatory for someone accused of reckless or aggressive driving to appear in court for a criminal arraignment.
A conviction for reckless driving creates a criminal record and is a misdemeanor offense. This means that a court may sentence a defendant to pay a fine of up to $1,000, serve up to one year in jail, or both.
A reckless driving conviction also necessitates the payment of a fine of $300 in addition to any criminal penalties. The court would also apply five points to a guilty defendant’s driver’s license, potentially resulting in a license suspension if a defendant has prior moving violations. Insurance premiums may rise as a result as well.
How a Bronx Aggressive Driving Attorney Could Help
Allegations of aggressive or reckless driving are serious matters. Unlike most moving violations, reckless driving is a criminal accusation for which a conviction can result in a jail sentence. This is in addition to any driver’s license ramifications you may have to endure for the associated traffic violation.
However, the laws concerning reckless driving are somewhat open to interpretation, and as such a jury may be likely to see the case in your favor if you have strong legal representation. A Bronx aggressive driving lawyer could help you understand the relevant sections of the law, cross-examine the arresting officer on the witness stand, and present your case effectively and convincingly. Call today to learn more.