In Arkansas, reckless driving is a criminal offense and can lead to jail time, fines, and points on your driving record. This article explains how the law defines reckless driving and the specific penalties you'll face for a conviction.
In Arkansas, a person can be convicted of "reckless driving" for driving "in such a manner as to indicate a wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property." The term "wanton" generally means the person understood the conduct was risky but decided to do it anyway. (Ark. Code Ann. § 27-50-308.)
Reckless driving is a class B misdemeanor in Arkansas. The consequences of a conviction depend on the circumstances. But the possible penalty ranges are provided below.
Motorists convicted of a first reckless driving offense face five to 90 days in jail and/or up to $500 in fines.
First reckless driving offenses that involve injuries to another person carry 30 to 90 days in jail and/or $100 to $1,000 in fines.
Motorists convicted of a second or subsequent reckless driving offense within a three-year period are looking at 30 days to six months of jail time and/or $500 to $1,000 in fines. And any driver who racks up a third reckless driving conviction within a period of 12 months faces license revocation.
If a second or subsequent reckless driving offense involves injuries, the convicted driver faces 60 days to one year in jail and/or $500 to $1,000 in fines.
A reckless driving conviction will also add eight demerit points to a motorist's driving record. Accumulating 14 or more points within a three-year period can result in a three-month license suspension.
In some states, it's possible for a driver who's charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) to "plea bargain" for a lesser charge. When a DWI is plea-bargained down to a reckless driving charge, it's sometimes called a "wet reckless."
Arkansas law prohibits all plea bargaining in DWI cases. So, it isn't possible for someone who's arrested for driving while intoxicated to plea bargain for a wet reckless or any other lesser charge.
The consequences of a reckless driving conviction in Arkansas can be serious, especially if the offense involves injuries. 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.