Oklahoma’s Reckless Driving Laws and Penalties
Read about Oklahoma’s reckless driving laws and the consequences of a conviction.
In Oklahoma, reckless driving is a misdemeanor. The crime has two basic components. First, there must be proof that the motorist was driving in a “in a careless or wanton manner.” Second, the prosecution needs to show that person’s driving was:
- without “regard for the safety of persons or property,” or
- in violation of Oklahoma’s speeding laws.
In other words, a person who drives dangerously or violates the speed limit, and is at least negligent in doing so, can be convicted of reckless driving. Generally, a person acts negligently by doing something that a reasonable person wouldn’t have done or failing to do something that a reasonable person would have done.
(Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 47, § 11-901(A) (2017).)
Reckless Driving Penalties
The consequences of a reckless driving conviction depend on the circumstances. But the possible penalties are:
- First offense. Motorists convicted of a first reckless driving offense face five to 90 days in jail and/or $100 to $500 in fines.
- Repeat offense. For a second of subsequent reckless driving conviction, the motorist is looking at ten days to six months in jail and/or $150 to $1,000 in fines.
In addition to any fines the judge imposes, all drivers convicted of reckless driving must pay a “penalty assessment” of $155.
A reckless driving conviction will also add eight “points” to the motorist’s driving record. Accumulating ten or more points within five years leads to license suspension.
(Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 20, § 1313.6 (2017); Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 47, § 11-901(B) (2017).)
Reckless Driving and DUI Charges (“Wet Reckless”)
In Oklahoma, it’s possible for a driver who’s charged with driving under the influence (DUI) to “plea bargain” for a lesser charge. When a DUI is plea bargained down to a reckless driving charge, it’s sometimes called a “wet reckless.”
(Read more about plea bargaining in Oklahoma DUI cases.)
HOW MUCH TIME WOULD YOU ACTUALLY SPEND IN JAIL?
Generally speaking, sentencing law is complex and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. For example, a statute might list a “minimum” jail sentence that’s longer than the actual amount of time (if any) a defendant will have to spend behind bars. All kinds of factors can affect actual punishment, including the severity of the damage at issue, credits for good in-custody behavior, and jail-alternative work programs.
If you face criminal charges, consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer. An attorney with command of the rules in your jurisdiction will be able to explain the law as it applies to your situation.
Talk to an Attorney
The consequences of a reckless driving conviction in Oklahoma can be serious. If you’ve been arrested for or charged with reckless driving, get in contact with an experienced defense attorney. A qualified attorney can explain how the law applies to the facts of your case and help you decide on how best to handle your situation.