Columbia Reckless Driving Lawyer

Under South Carolina law, reckless driving refers to any person operating a motor vehicle in such a manner as to indicate a “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” It is important to understand that under South Carolina’s reckless driving laws, it is not necessary for a person to violate a separate traffic law in order to be found guilty or convicted of reckless driving.

If you have been charged with reckless driving in the State of South Carolina, it is not a good idea to “go it alone,” and it is essential that you have knowledgeable and experienced legal representation on your side throughout your criminal case.

A Columbia reckless driving lawyer can discuss the facts and circumstances of your charge with you and can help you to formulate good legal defenses to your charge. A good legal defense can go a long way when it comes to potentially obtaining a dismissal of your reckless driving charge, a favorable plea deal with the prosecution, or a reduced penalty upon conviction.

Initial Traffic Stop

When a police officer pulls a vehicle over, it is important that the driver keep calm and remain cooperative throughout the process. While still at the scene, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  • Be polite and provide driver’s license, proof of insurance, and your vehicles’ registration.
  • Do not admit to anything that could be used in a negative way in court. In other words, you do not have to answer any questions about how much alcohol you have drunk.
  • Do not argue or dispute a reckless driving ticket with the issuing officer at the scene.
  • Accept the ticket graciously and make sure to follow all written instructions on the ticket.

Potential Penalties for Reckless Driving in Columbia

In the State of South Carolina, reckless driving is a misdemeanor with serious penalties upon conviction. Generally speaking, misdemeanors are punishable by less than one year of incarceration – or by fines or other penalties.

An individual who has been charged with and convicted of reckless driving may incur one or more of the following penalties under South Carolina law and should seek help from a Columbia reckless driving lawyer:

  • Up to 30 days in jail.
  • Six points on the driver’s record
  • Harsh monetary fines and penalties
  • An increase of thousands of dollars in annual insurance premiums
  • A driver’s license suspension

Collateral Consequences of a Reckless Driving Conviction

A reckless driving conviction in the State of South Carolina can have significant long-term impacts on a person’s professional and social life. In today’s competitive education, job, and housing markets, background checks are extremely common. Schools, employers, and leasing companies regularly check applicants’ criminal records before making their decisions.

An individual who has sustained a reckless driving charge or conviction will have a criminal record and is at a significant disadvantage when it comes to education, employment, and leasing decisions. Rightly or wrongly, others may assume that an individual who has sustained a reckless driving charge or conviction also has a drug or alcohol problem.

How a Columbia Reckless Driving Attorney Can Help

Reckless driving charges and convictions can subject you to serious criminal penalties, including hefty fines and jail time. If you have been charged with reckless driving in the State of South Carolina, you need a knowledgeable Columbia reckless driving lawyer in your corner every step of the way.