Is reckless driving a crime in New Jersey?

car driving recklessly speeding

In all states, motorists are legally obligated to exercise reasonable care while behind the wheel to ensure everyone’s safety on the road. However, when a motorist neglects to abide by their legal duty and they engage in the dangerous driving practice of reckless driving they put everyone’s lives at risk including their own. In New Jersey, reckless driving is defined as “operating a vehicle heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others, in a manner to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property.” Reckless driving unfortunately more times than not results in catastrophic collisions. With reckless driving being so dangerous, many New York drivers wonder if it is considered a crime. Please continue reading to learn what type of offense reckless driving falls under. In addition, reach out to a skilled Middlesex County Traffic Ticket Attorney who can help you navigate the complexities of the charges brought against you. 

Is reckless driving considered a crime in New Jersey?

Essentially, when a motorist operates a vehicle in an unsafe manner that they know or should reasonably know could potentially harm others, yet they still engage in this practice anyway, they are deemed to be driving recklessly. Numerous unsafe driving practices can result in a reckless driving conviction. For instance, if a motorist is driving while under the influence, driving an excessive amount over the speed limit, tailgating, texting while driving, driving on the wrong side of the road, or driving in another dangerous manner, it could result in a reckless driving conviction. In New Jersey, reckless driving is not considered a crime. Instead, it is regarded as a serious traffic violation. Even though this type of violation is not considered a crime, it carries similar penalties to offenses that are classified as crimes.

What are the potential penalties for this offense?

Those convicted of reckless driving should expect to face significant penalties. Despite reckless driving technically not being a crime in New Jersey, it is still a serious traffic violation that carries severe penalties. The potential penalties for a first-offense reckless driving conviction are as follows:

  • Fines of up to $200
  • License suspension
  • 60-day imprisonment
  • 5 points applied to the motorist’s standard driver’s license

Any subsequent convictions will result in more severe consequences such as fines being raised to $500 and imprisonment for up to 90 days. Despite this offense not being a crime, the negative repercussions can haunt a motorist for a very long time. If a motorist accumulates a certain amount of points on their driving record, they could potentially lose their driving privileges.

In the unfortunate event that you have been convicted of reckless driving, don’t hesitate to contact our determined attorneys. With years of experience, we can fight on your behalf to seek a favorable outcome. Allow our attorneys to help you navigate your legal options.

Read Our
Latest Blogs

View More Blogs
Can I fight drug trafficking charges in New Jersey?

In the state of New Jersey, drug trafficking is one of the most serious criminal offenses you can be charged with. Essentially…

Read More
Does New Jersey offer hardship or conditional driver’s license to those convicted of DWI?

When you operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%, you are violating New Jersey's traffic laws and will…

Read More
What are the factors that determine the severity of a felony conviction in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, depending on the particular crime you commit, there is a range of appropriate penalties that the law finds equivalent…

Read More

Contact The Law Office of
Michael A. Policastro

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.