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Colorado Springs Reckless Driving

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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.

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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.

Don’t let one wrong decision impact your life, job or freedom.

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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.

Colorado criminal procedure

  • Arrest or
    Summons
    01

    Arrest or
    Summons

    The process begins with either an arrest or a summons. The accused is either arrested or served with paperwork summoning them to appear in court. During an arrest, Miranda rights may or may not be read to you. Officers are only required to recite your rights if they intend to question you about potentially incriminating things.

  • Bond Hearing
    02

    Bond Hearing

    In most cases, you're entitled to have a reasonable bond set after you've been arrested. In situations involving domestic violence, the police will request input from the victim before setting a bond. Bonds are set to ensure that a person appears in court at their court dates. If they don’t show up, they forfeit the money that was paid for the bond.

  • Advisement of
    Charges
    03

    Advisement of
    Charges

    Whether you are arrested or given a summons to appear, the court must make sure you understand what crimes you are being accused of committing. This is called advisement of charges. The District Attorney will detail the specific charges against you, and the Judge has to make sure you understand what possible penalties are associated with that charge in the state.

  • Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony
    Charges)
    04

    Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony
    Charges)

    A preliminary hearing is a way for your defense attorney to challenge the District Attorney’s right to bring charges against you by making them prove that there is reason to believe you committed a crime. The Judge is not deciding your guilt or innocence, but rather whether or not there is probable cause to charge you with the crime in question.

  • Pretrial Conference /
    Disposition
    Hearing
    05

    Pretrial Conference /
    Disposition
    Hearing

    This court date comes after your attorney has reviewed all of the reports and evidence in your case. Here’s where your attorney will engage in plea negotiations with the DA. If they can reach an agreement on the case, you may be able to take a plea bargain. If they cannot reach a resolution, your case will be set for an arraignment or trial date.

  • Arraignment
    06

    Arraignment

    An arraignment is the final date for you to decide how you choose to plea. Guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, then the case is set for a sentencing date. If you plead not guilty, you and your attorney will then set the case for trial.

  • Motions Hearing
    07

    Motions Hearing

    A motion hearing is when an attorney makes a request that requires a decision from the judge. For example, motions to suppress evidence or statements. These motions can limit the information that goes before a jury if it benefits your case, and there are legal grounds for doing so.

  • Pretrial Readiness
    Conference
    08

    Pretrial Readiness
    Conference

    A pretrial readiness conference is held at some point before trial. It usually is held about a week to a month before the date trial is set to begin. This court date ensures everyone is ready to go to trial on the set date. It is also a time for lawyers to bring up any issues they may have to be addressed before the day of trial.

  • Jury Trial
    09

    Jury Trial

    After a jury is selected for trial, the District Attorney’s responsibility is to present the case to the jury. The DA must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime. Otherwise, the jury must find you innocent. Your attorney will be able to cross-examine all of the witnesses, present evidence, and ultimately help you navigate this process.

  • Sentencing
    Date
    10

    Sentencing
    Date

    At sentencing, the Judge must decide the appropriate legal penalty for the crime you plead guilty. The Judge’s decision is based on the listed penalties for the specific charge, recommendations from the presentence investigation, your criminal history, as well as statements made at the sentencing by the District Attorney, your attorney, you, and any named victims of the crime.

What is the sentence for misdemeanors in Colorado?

  • Class 1

  • 6 to 18 months in county jail, and/or
  • $500 to $5,000 in fines
  • For extraordinary risk class 1 misdemeanors, the maximum jail sentence is 24 months.
  • For 3rd-degree assault (CRS 18-3-204), the maximum sentence can be 48 months if the victim was on duty as a:
    • Peace officer,
    • Emergency medical provider,
    • Firefighter, or
    • Mental health professional at the Department of Human Services.
  • Class 2

  • 3 to 12 months in county jail, and/or
  • $250 to $1,000 in fines
  • Class 3

  • Up to 6 months of county jail, and/or
  • $50 to $750 in fines2

What are Colorado felony penalties?

  • Class 1

  • Life imprisonment
  • No Colorado crime carries the death penalty.
  • Class 2

  • 8 – 24 years in Colorado State Prison, and/or
  • $5,000 – $1,000,000
  • 5 years of mandatory parole if the offense is a crime of violence. Otherwise, 3 years of mandatory parole.
  • Class 3

  • 4 – 12 years in prison, and/or
  • $3,000 – $750,000
  • 3 years of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 3 felonies, the maximum sentence is 16 years in prison.
  • Class 4

  • 2 – 6 years in prison, and/or
  • $2,000 – $500,000
  • 3 years of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 4 felonies, the maximum sentence is 8 years in prison.
  • Class 5

  • 1 – 3 years in prison, and/or
  • $1,000 – $100,000
  • 2 years of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 5 felonies, the maximum sentence is 4 years in prison.
  • Class 6

  • 1 – 18 months years in prison, and/or
  • $1,000 – $100,000
  • 1 year of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 6 felonies, the maximum sentence is 2 years in prison.

CALL NOW IF YOU HAVE BEEN ARRESTED

719-822-6227

Getting You To A Better Place Fast

At Right Law Group, we understand the stress you are under. Our Criminal Defense Law Firm is here to guide you down the right path to your legal challenge. Whether you are facing your first DUI, a drug charge, need a restraining order, or are facing another type of criminal charge, our firm is committed to your well-being and protecting your rights the right way.

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.

Experienced Reckless Driving Attorney

Colorado Reckless Driving Attorney Near You

When you’re charged with reckless driving or a DUI in Colorado, you need a lawyer who is familiar with the laws and knows how the court system works. DUI attorneys work with you to help you establish a strong defense. Even if you believe that a conviction is inevitable, an attorney can help you fight for a lesser charge, a reduced sentence, or another more favorable outcome. Contact us right away for a free case consultation.