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Colorado Springs Reckless Driving

Arrested for Reckless Driving in Colorado?
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When a police officer arrests you for a Colorado reckless driving offense, you must seek immediate legal help. Your arrest is often the beginning of a challenging struggle to defend your legal rights and retain your freedom. Ultimately, your court experience will take you through a legal process that can lead to fines, jail time, and other adverse consequences.

A reckless driving hearing is a simple court process, but it can change your life in many ways. If the court convicts you, it eventually affects your right to drive. Once a conviction hits your record, the Department of Motor Vehicles adds eight points to your license. If you already have points for prior traffic offenses, your conviction will bring you closer to a license suspension. Your misdemeanor criminal record may affect your future employment prospects and jeopardize your current job. If you’re convicted, it can be difficult to get the vacation days you need to serve your jail time.

If you’re arrested for reckless driving, what happens next depends on you. You can face the justice system on your own, or you can contact a criminal attorney to advocate on your behalf. Criminal defense lawyers represent you during critical court appearances. They help you navigate the court system and develop a strategy that can change the outcome of your case.

What Is A Reckless Driving Charge in Colorado?

The Colorado Reckless Driving statute applies when a driver’s actions show “…wanton or a willful disregard for the safety of persons or property…” The charge calls for a police officer to witness your actions and/or make a judgment call about your intent or your state of mind.

When Can I Be Charged With Reckless Driving?

Police officers can charge you with reckless driving when your actions meet those described in Colorado Revised Statutes, 42-4-1401. The key qualifier that elevates a careless driver’s status to that of a reckless driver is their wanton or willful “…disregard for the safety of persons or property…”

One example of reckless driving behavior is a person who systematically refuses to stop when a traffic light turns red. Red-light runners are consistently reckless drivers. They only avoid accidents because approaching drivers swerve out of their path or stop in time to avoid a crash.

A reckless driving charge doesn’t apply only to cars and trucks. A police officer can cite you with reckless driving when you’re on a bicycle, electrical assisted bicycle, electric scooter, or a low-powered scooter.

Colorado Reckless Driving Laws

Colorado Reckless driving is a criminal charge that’s often associated with other actions or accidents. Police officers sometimes cite vehicle operators with reckless driving instead of or in addition to more serious traffic offenses.

  • Speeding: A police officer can also issue a speeding ticket under 42-4-1101 if a reckless driver exceeds a reasonable and prudent speed or the maximum speed.
  • Speed Exhibitions: A police officer can consider a driver as reckless when they violate the speed exhibition statute, 42-4-1105.
  • Accidents: An officer can charge a driver with both reckless driving and accident-related offenses such as Striking an Unattended Vehicle, 42-4-1604, or Striking a Highway Fixture, 42-4-1605.
  • Eluding an Officer: A driver often operates a vehicle recklessly while attempting to avoid a police officer, 42-4-1413.
  • Driving Under the Influence: Often a DUI (42-4-1301) driver’s reckless vehicle operation is what draws an officer’s attention to them in the first place.

Colorado Reckless Driving Penalties

Colorado Reckless Driving is a Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense. Your penalty depends on whether you have prior reckless driving convictions. As with any conviction, the courts have sentencing discretion. If you have multiple traffic violations of any kind on your record, it can affect your penalty. Penalties for Reckless Driving include:

First Conviction:

  • Jail Time: 10 to 90 days
  • Fine: Up to $300
  • DMV Points: 8 points based on C.R.S. 42-2-127 (only if you were driving a car or truck)

Subsequent Convictions

  • Jail Time: 10 days to 6 months
  • Fine: Up to $1,000
  • DMV Points: 8 points (if you were driving a car or truck)

Defending Your Reckless Driving Charge

When a police officer cites you for reckless driving, you shouldn’t assume that a court will convict you. A reckless driving charge requires that a police officer prove your intent and your state of mind. The officer must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you acted willfully and wantonly.

Criminal defense attorneys listen to your story and review the evidence to build a defense. They force court witnesses to prove their allegations and present legal defenses that best support your position.

Contact A Criminal Defense Attorney

If you’ve been arrested for reckless driving, you can’t afford to wait. Contact a criminal defense attorney to plan a strategy for defending your case. The alternative is jail time, fines, and license points that bring you closer to a license suspension.

Don’t Let One Wrong Decision Impact Your Life, Job or Freedom.

Frequently Asked Questions

What speed is reckless driving in Colorado?

Reckless driving encompasses a broad range of actions that could cause harm to others. In some cases, if someone is driving more than 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, they could be charged with reckless driving.

How many points is a reckless driving ticket in Colorado?

A reckless driving ticket in Colorado will cost you 8 points on your license. If you acquire 12 or more points in a 12-month period (or 18 points in a 24 month period) you will be facing a license suspension.

Is reckless driving a felony in Colorado?

In Colorado, reckless driving is considered a misdemeanor offense and NOT a felony. If you are found to be intentionally operating a motor vehicle in a way that endangers others, you could be charged with reckless driving.

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