In Arkansas, reckless driving charges can result in a Class B misdemeanor upon conviction. What makes a person’s behaviors reckless? The law specifically states that any person driving a vehicle in a way that indicates a wonton disregard for the safety of other people’s persons or property will be found guilty of this charge.
The issue with this is that not everyone understands what “wanton disregard” really means. Wanton disregard has some different explanations.
Understanding wanton disregard for others
Some examples of wanton disregard include:
- Driving while distracted, such as using an electronic device behind the wheel
- Failing to stop completely at a stop sign or stop light
- Going 20 mph or more over the speed limit
- Racing, regardless of the cause or reason for it
- Not using your turn signals when necessary
- Not driving with regard to the conditions of the roadway
These actions are considered reckless because drivers should know better than to participate in them. There are basic rules asking drivers not to participate in these acts, yet they often still do. If they do, they can be held responsible through reckless driving charges.
Know the penalties for reckless driving
If you’re accused of driving recklessly, you can be charged. Upon conviction, you can spend anywhere from five to 90 days in jail. You can also be fined anywhere from $25 to $500 for the ticket.
Those penalties are only in place if you didn’t harm anyone with your actions, though. If someone else got hurt, then you could go to jail for 30 to 90 days and face fines of up to $1,000. Those fines don’t include any claims the other party may make against you.
If this is not the first offense, then the penalties may be higher. That’s something to keep in mind, because the likelihood of jail time and heavy fines is greatly increased with each subsequent offense.
Fortunately, you do have a right to defend yourself. You can take steps to defend your actions and may be able to have the charges against you lowered or dropped depending on the circumstances leading to the traffic stop.