What is Reckless Driving in Utah?

Most people know and understand that a DUI charge is a severe crime in Utah. It may come as a surprise that reckless driving is a Class B Misdemeanor, which is the same level of offense. This means that you may need legal representation if you have been charged or arrested for reckless driving. Below is a brief write-up about what constitutes reckless driving and the potential punishments that can follow.

  • “operate a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property” (see Utah Code 41-6a-528(1)(a)), or you can
  • commit “three or more moving traffic violations . . . in a series of acts occurring within a single continuous period of driving covering three miles or less in total distance.” (see Utah Code 41-6a-528(1)(b)).

Reckless driving charges were explained.

The term “willful” means that the driver’s conduct was intentional, “wanton” means that these actions were done with disregard to the potential consequences. Essentially, the vehicle’s driver is operating; it is such a way that it poses a danger to the safety of other drivers and pedestrians. Examples of moving traffic violations include speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or running a red light.

What can happen with a reckless driving arrest?

First-time offenders can be subject to up to 6 months of jail time and $1000 in fines. Moreover, your license can be suspended for up to 3 months at the recommendation of the judge. Second-time offenders can face a mandatory 12-month license suspension. Each reckless driving conviction will also add 80 demerit points to the person’s driving record. Remember that accumulating 200 points in three years can also lead to a license suspension.

Utah law does allow for plea bargaining in reckless driving cases. If you or a loved one has been charged, it is best to speak with a reckless driving defense attorney to learn more about your options. If you have been charged or arrested around Salt Lake City, contact The Ault Firm at 801-987-8409 to request a case review. 

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