Did you just let go of your steering wheel while driving like Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) did in Fight Club (1999) with the narrator (Edward Norton)? Or did you attempt a reenactment of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) destroying a white 25th anniversary Lamborghini Countach? Minus the Lamborghini, of course.
Durden and Norton walked away from letting go, but Belfort is arrested for reckless driving.
Reckless driving is mostly cool in movies where even if people die or are injured and property is destroyed or damaged, we all know it’s just make-believe. But letting go when you’re behind the wheel has serious consequences in the real California rather than the fake Hollywood.
Reckless driving in California is more than a routine traffic violation. It is operating a motor vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other people or property. That means the Fight Club drivers are guilty, not the driver in The Wolf of Wall Street, who should have been arrested for a DUI.
Reckless driving is a misdemeanor, but don’t sigh in relief. These days, people are being sentenced to federal prison for a misdemeanor.
The Penalties for Reckless Driving:
The penalty for a reckless driving misdemeanor is:
- 5 to 90 days in jail
- a fine between $145 and $1,000.
The penalty for a reckless driving felony is:
- up to three years in prison, depending on how willful and wonton your disregard for the safety of others is
- a fine for felony reckless driving can be up to $10,000.
Examples of Reckless Driving
- Not stopping at stop signs
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Speeding through a school zone
- Speeding through a residential neighborhood
- Slamming into the side of the vehicle you are next to
- Sideshows: drifting and/or spinouts, and donuts routinely held at parking garages or parking lots.
- Drag or street racing (glorified in Paul Hogan and Vin Diesel’s Fast & The Furious)
- Speeding past a driver, changing lanes to get in front of the driver, and slamming on the breaks.
There are also a number of types of reckless driving you can be charged with:
- Standard reckless driving
- Reckless driving for commercial purposes: filming your reckless driving, which is for a film, commercial, or vlog.
- Reckless driving with injuries: you injure someone because of driving recklessly
- Reckless driving, involving certain types of injuries: you seriously injure someone because of driving recklessly
- Reckless Driving: Wet Reckless, which is reckless driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
If you are charged with reckless driving, an experienced reckless driving offense lawyer is aware that there could be other reasons for the way you drove:
- Perhaps you were NOT the driver.
- Perhaps law enforcement misidentified you.
- Perhaps the driving was NOT reckless.
- Perhaps your reckless driving was due to a dire emergency
If you find yourself faced with reckless driving charges, it is in your best interest to call an experienced reckless driving lawyer. Call the Flores Law Group in Tustin, California for a personal case evaluation at (714) 769-1200 today.