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4 Reckless Driving Behaviors That Could Land You in Jail

Posted on in Criminal Defense

WI defense lawyerReckless driving can be taken quite seriously in Wisconsin. Those who are used to driving to and from work or school every day can easily forget how dangerous their vehicles can be when not operated with care. While more minor, less risky, traffic offenses like speeding just a little or making a “rolling stop” will typically lead to just a ticket, more serious, reckless, behaviors could get you arrested. In Wisconsin, a first conviction for reckless driving without aggravating circumstances will most likely lead to fines, but a repeat conviction is a misdemeanor that carries jail time. If you are facing a reckless driving charge, an attorney may be able to help.

What Kinds of Actions Behind the Wheel are Considered Reckless Driving?

In its most basic form, Wisconsin’s reckless driving statute simply defines reckless driving as endangering a person or property by negligently operating a vehicle. For the purposes of the reckless driving law, your driving could be deemed negligent if you knew or really should have known that what you were doing was substantially dangerous. There is no specific list of driving behaviors that meet the definition, but the following actions are generally considered to meet the definition:

  • Excessive speeding - Going just a few miles per hour over the limit in good conditions will generally not count. However, if you are going way over the speed limit or driving much too fast for the weather conditions to the point where it is likely that you would cause an accident, speeding may amount to reckless driving.
  • Street racing - Street racing creates a substantial risk of injury to participants, passengers, spectators, and anyone who happens to get too close to the “racecourse.” Because drivers who are racing really should know how unsafe this is, racing commonly results in a reckless driving charge.
  • Road rage - Road rage incidents can result in a reckless driving charge. Aggressively cutting in front of someone, trying to run another driver off the road, refusing to merge cooperatively, or purposely blocking the flow of traffic can all be considered forms of reckless driving.
  • Ignoring signs - Blowing through an intersection without stopping despite seeing a stop sign or red light can be considered reckless, even if you leaned on your horn to warn others what you are about to do. Brake failure is just about the only excuse for this.

The types of driving behaviors that can lead to a reckless driving charge are not limited to those listed above. The statute is intentionally left vague enough to encompass a wide range of actions that create substantial danger. As these cases are largely evaluated on a case-by-case basis, an attorney may be able to argue that what you did was not genuinely reckless.

Call a Wisconsin Traffic Attorney

If you are facing reckless driving charges, Bucher Law Group, LLC may be able to help. Our experienced Jefferson County traffic lawyers are skilled at using the reckless driving statute’s ambiguity to create strong legal defenses. Call us at 262-303-4916 for a free consultation.




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