How Can I Downgrade a Reckless Driving Summons In NJ?
What Is Reckless Driving?Reckless Driving, is by definition in the code, considered to be the driving of a vehicle heedlessly, in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others; in a manner so as to endanger a person or property. The penalties for this offense, as a first-time offender, include up to 60 days in jail, and a fine of up to $200.00. These direct sentencing consequences may not be the worst consequence, as the offense can result in a serious collateral consequences for a CDL driver; and, the Court could decide to suspend your non-CDL license as well. Obviously, if you did the offense and are looking for a way to lessen the sentencing consequences, then you need to consider the other offenses in the Reckless/Careless/Unsafe Driving category of offenses.
Careless, or Unsafe?Depending on your driving record, the prosecutor may be willing to consider a downgrade plea offer. The typical downgrades are either Careless Driving, which imposes only 2 points on your license; and, Unsafe, which imposes 0 points. While the seemingly obvious choice would be Unsafe Driving, there is of course a catch. Careless has a relatively low fine along with the 2 points; while the Unsafe has a combination of fines and surcharges that will total about $400.00 for the first offense. An additional concern, is whether you have ever used this Unsafe Driving downgrade before, as the first and second offense are 0 points, but the third time you try to use this downgrade will result in the MVC imposing 4 points on this offense. Make sure you have checked your driving abstract to confirm no previous use of this downgrade, before you use it a third time. Trying to un-do this type of plea is not favored by most courts.