Reckless driving is a crime in Wyoming. The offense is defined as driving “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” The term “willful” refers to conduct that is intentional or purposeful. And “wanton” generally means the person understood but disregarded the consequences of the conduct.
(Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 31-5-229 (2017).)
Reckless driving is a misdemeanor in Wyoming. Generally, convicted motorists are looking at up to six months in jail and/or a maximum $750 in fines. In addition to the fines, there’s also a “surcharge” of $150 to $350 for a reckless driving violation.
For a third reckless driving conviction within a five-year period, the motorist faces license revocation.
Wyoming has another offense called “careless driving.” A person can be convicted of careless for driving in a way that:
The difference between reckless and careless driving is a matter of degree, and the dividing line isn’t always clear. Basically, reckless driving involves operation of a vehicle that’s obviously dangerous, whereas more subtle instances of bad driving might be in the negligent driving category.
Careless driving is a misdemeanor, but the consequences of a conviction are generally less severe than those for reckless driving. The possible penalties for a careless driving conviction are:
In some states, 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.”
Wyoming law restricts plea bargaining in DUI cases. So, for someone who’s accused of drunk driving in Wyoming, it typically isn’t possible to plead to reckless driving or any other reduced 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 facts of every case are different. 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.