In South Dakota, “reckless driving” is a crime. The offense is defined as driving:
In other words, reckless driving is operating a vehicle in a manner that poses a danger to other people or property.
Reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor in South Dakota. A conviction carries up to a year in jail and/or a maximum $2,000 in fines. For a second or subsequent reckless driving violation within a year, the motorist additionally faces a 30-day to one-year-and-30-day license revocation.
A reckless driving conviction will add eight points to the motorist’s driving record. Accumulating 15 or more points within a one-year period or 22 points within a two-year period can lead to license suspension.
South Dakota has a less serious crime called “careless driving.” The offense is defined as driving “carelessly and without due caution, at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger any person or property, not amounting to reckless driving.”
The difference between reckless and careless driving is subtle. Generally, reckless driving involves the operation of a vehicle that’s obviously dangerous, whereas more subtle instances of bad driving might be in the careless driving category.
Careless driving is a class 2 misdemeanor. Convicted motorists are looking at up to 30 days in jail and/or a maximum $500 in fines.
If reckless driving leads to the death of another person, vehicular homicide charges are also possibility.
In South Dakota, 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.”
The facts of every case are different. If you’ve been arrested for or charged with reckless or careless 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.