In New York, a person can be convicted of “reckless driving” for driving a vehicle “in a manner which unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public highway, or unreasonably endangers users of the public highway.”
(N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 1212 (2017).)
The consequences of a reckless driving conviction depend on the circumstances. But generally, reckless driving is a misdemeanor in New York, and the possible penalties are:
A reckless driving conviction will also add five demerit points to a motorist’s driving record and likely lead to insurance rate increases.
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 DUI is plea bargained down to a reckless driving charge, it’s sometimes called a “wet reckless.”
In New York, most plea bargaining is prohibited in DWI cases. So it’s typically not possible to reduce a DWI to a reckless driving charge.
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.
The consequences of a reckless driving conviction in New York can be serious. If you’ve been arrested for or charged with reckless driving, get in contact with an experienced criminal 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.