Reckless Driving Charges in Columbia

Section 56-5-2920 defines reckless driving in South Carolina. Specifically, it is where any person drives a vehicle in such a manner that would be in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. If the jury found beyond a reasonable doubt that someone drove in such a manner, they may find somebody guilty of reckless driving.

The most common type of reckless driving would be somebody who is driving fast, and they lose control of the vehicle and crash. Often, police officers will then charge someone with reckless driving for driving too fast for conditions. If you are facing reckless driving charges in Columbia, it is best to reach out to a diligent defense attorney. An experienced reckless driving attorney could help you build a defense and mitigate the consequences of a conviction.

How is a Reckless Driving Charge Different From a Speeding Ticket?

Reckless driving is a specific individual charge. A person can be charged with speeding and reckless driving or too fast for conditions in reckless driving. It is an individual charge, so there are two separate things. It does not have to be one or the other.

Reckless driving differs from a speeding ticket in that a speeding ticket is specific. There is a specific mile per hour, and the person was exceeding the limit. A person could be charged with reckless driving for cutting somebody off the traffic if the police officer believed it was in that manner. There was a case called State versus Layfield that defines reckless driving.  The recklessness implies the doing of a negligent act knowingly.

If a person acts negligently and realizes that they are doing so, the law says they are reckless or willful and wanton, which is the conscious failure to exercise due care.

Types of Reckless Driving Offenses

A specific scenario in which a person can be charged with reckless driving is if they were charged with driving under the influence (DUI) and the case was reduced to reckless driving. A DUI conviction carries a suspension of a person’s driver’s license and a much higher fine, and collateral consequences are much more severe. Reduced reckless driving charges in Columbia makes it so their license is not suspended. They do have six demerit points against their license, but their license is not suspended. The fine is also less. It is $660 for the fine.

Another scenario is if somebody is weaving and crossing lanes. If someone is driving in such a manner that would be dangerous to other people, then that is reckless driving.

How a Reckless Driving Attorney Could Help

If a person is charged with reckless driving, they should go to court and hire an attorney because of the long-lasting implications of reckless driving. They want to make sure that they get the best result possible and see whether it can be reduced to careless driving or even be dismissed.

Reach out to a tenacious defense attorney to learn about reckless driving charges in Columbia and the potential consequences of a conviction.