Reckless Driving in Connecticut

If you have been charged with reckless driving in the state of Connecticut, you might be stressed out about the potential consequences of this action.  Furthermore, you might be confused with why you are being charged with reckless driving, as recklessness is not clearly defined in the Connecticut General Statutes.  If you find yourself in this position, it is important that you educate yourself on the Connecticut reckless driving laws as well as the punishments for reckless driving.  You will then have a better understanding of what you are being charged with and why, which puts you in a better position to fight the charges.

In the state of Connecticut, there are several reckless driving violations that you can breach.  Connecticut law states that, “No person shall operate any motor vehicle upon any public highway of the state, or any road of any specially chartered municipal association or of any district organized under the provisions of chapter 105, a purpose of which is the construction and maintenance of roads and sidewalks, or in any parking area for ten cars or more or upon any private road on which a speed limit has been established in accordance with the provisions of section 14-218a or upon any school property recklessly, having regard to the width, traffic and use of such highway, road, school property or parking area, the intersection of streets and the weather conditions. The operation of a motor vehicle upon any such highway, road or parking area for ten cars or more at such a rate of speed as to endanger the life of any person other than the operator of such motor vehicle, or the operation, downgrade, upon any highway, of any motor vehicle with a commercial registration with the clutch or gears disengaged, or the operation knowingly of a motor vehicle with defective mechanism, shall constitute a violation of the provisions of this section. The operation of a motor vehicle upon any such highway, road or parking area for ten cars or more at a rate of speed greater than eighty-five miles per hour shall constitute a violation of the provisions of this section,” (Connecticut General Statutes Section 14-222).  If you commit one of the violations listed in the General Statutes, you will be driving recklessly and can be arrested.  However, because recklessness is not defined any further in the General Statutes, you can still be charged with reckless driving even if you did not commit one of the above violations.

Police officers have the right to pull you over if they feel that you are driving in a reckless manner. This could include driving while talking on a cell phone or texting, driving while eating, or driving while performing some other distracting task. Only if some type of distracting behavior causes you to drive erratically will a police officer intervene.  If you are pulled over for some type of erratic behavior not specifically mentioned in the General Statutes, the circumstances involving the situation will be taken into consideration by the police officer and will determine if you are charged with reckless driving or not.

If you are charged with reckless driving, the penalties can be severe.  For a first offense, you will receive a fine of between $100 and $300 and/or be imprisoned for up to 30 days.  For any subsequent reckless driving offense, you can again receive both a fine and a prison sentence.  The fine for a subsequent offense is up to $600, and the prison sentence can be for up to one year.  These are the penalties that you will receive from the court.  In addition, you will receive a suspension from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  For a first offense, you will receive a license suspension of at least 30 days, and for a subsequent offense the suspension is 60 days.  In some situations, for instance, if you are charged with a DUI, you can be eligible for a work permit, which allows you to drive to and from work during the license suspension.  This is designed to help you maintain your income.  However, there is no work permit available if you are convicted of reckless driving, and you will have to find alternative transportation every time you need to get somewhere.  If you choose to drive with a suspended license and are caught, the consequences become even worse.  You face more jail time, a larger fine, and a longer suspension of your license.

Reckless driving in Connecticut can lead to serious consequences.  If you have been arrested for reckless driving, you should contact a lawyer at Ruane Attorneys immediately.  Depending on the circumstances of your charge, a lawyer might be able to fight the charge or reduce your punishments, getting you the minimum fine or jail time.  By contacting Ruane Attorneys here, you can rest assured that you are getting the best defense for your case.

For information on reckless driving charges in the Commonwealth of Virginia visit our Virginia Reckless Driving page here.