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How Reckless Driving May Affect Your License, Career and Credit History

Enjoy this article today from New York based attorney Zev Goldstein. Just don’t read it on your smartphone while driving.)

When it comes to traffic violations, reckless driving often ranks just below driving under the influence. A violation can affect every aspect of your life, from your job to your ability to attain future credit.

What Is Considered Reckless Driving?

Although the legal definition of reckless driving varies from state-to-state, it’s generally taken to mean driving in a manner that indicates a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of others.

Excessive speeding, tailgating, not signaling appropriately and running lights and stop signs are commonly considered reckless. Distracted driving from talking on the phone or texting behind the wheel can also fall under recklessness.

In the words of NY traffic ticket attorney Zev Goldstein, “Driving is a privilege, not a right, and playing around with this privilege can quite simply result in losing it.”

How Much Is a Reckless Driving Ticket?

Cost differs in every state, and sometimes county, but it can range into the hundreds of dollars.

Often, reckless driving citations are paired with additional tickets such as failure to yield, which can make the ticket even more costly.

If you don’t pay immediately there will be repercussions. These can include additional fines, credit reporting or even jail.

How Many Points Does It Put on Your License?

This cost is only for the ticket. There are often further hidden costs with the ticket, such as higher insurance premiums. Most states use a point system.

A reckless driving ticket is generally in the upper point range, falling only lower than DUI and hit-and-run offenses. The more points on your license, the more costly your insurance premiums.

When Will It Clear Off Your License?

Depending on the state and the seriousness of the reckless driving infraction, points can stay on your license for three to 10 years. That’s a long time to be paying higher insurance rates.

Some states do offer the option for early point removal, usually by taking safe driving classes. If it shows up on your credit report, it can take seven years for it to drop off.

Can It Affect Your Job and Credit History?

Reckless driving charges can affect your job in almost any industry. It can lead to dismissal in driving jobs such as trucking or the loss of a company car in a non-driving industry. Many behind-the-wheel jobs have point limits along with a policy for immediate dismissal for certain high-risk violations, such as DUI or reckless driving. Depending on the infraction, reckless driving can also go on your record as a felony. This can hurt you with any employer.

Failure to pay the ticket on time or in full will also negatively affect your credit rating and possible lead to additional fees. With more employers checking potential employee credit ratings, this can affect you even if the employer doesn’t check your driving record.

Is It Better to Fight It or Pay It?

You have very little to lose by fighting a reckless driving violation. Often going to court is the only way to bargain for a lower fine, less points or to gain access to alternative options like traffic school.

It’s a good idea to have legal representation before you go to court. If you’re innocent of the charges, you need someone at your side that is skilled at gathering and presenting evidence in your favor. A traffic lawyer can help you get a ticket dismissed or have the points dropped so it does not negatively affect your career.

Questions: Have you ever been cited or known someone who was cited for reckless driving? Did it impact you/them in any way?

Author Bio: Zev Goldstein is a New York based attorney. He has 28 years of experience dealing with traffic tickets and driving-related crimes such as DWI/DUI, Unlicensed Operation / Driving on a Suspended License or insurance, and in restoring driving licenses. You can connect with him on Twitter and Google+.

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  1. That is a thoughtful matter and I am greatfull that you suggest this. I think people should obey rules while driving because that makes people safe.

  2. A reckless driving ticket can really throw your life and driving record into a tizzy. I always try and fight tickets when I get them and almost always walk out with the fine reduced if not thrown out. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Reckless driving is a serious thing. I have a friend who got a major ticket just last week for reckless driving. He’s lucky that he didn’t hit anyone. I like the definition you gave of reckless driving. Could drunk driving also be considered reckless driving?

  4. Cell phone use is a probably one of the most common distractions that we perform while driving, and it is also probably the most lethal, but it is certainly not the only activity in which we engage while driving that presents a danger to ourselves and others. Every day we see women putting on make-up, men checking out women as they walk by, parents raising Cain at squabbling kids in the back seat, or any of a thousand other things that diverts their full attention off of the road.

    Btw very Informative post you have shared with us @brian!! Thanks for sharing such great content..

  5. Reckless driving can have many bad effects, it is important to be aware of all that can occur. Thank you for sharing.

  6. It makes sense that having a reckless driving record will affect insurance premiums. It means that there is higher risk of you getting into an accident, and well, it just makes sense that premiums would be higher. I haven’t ever had a ticket for anything but speeding, so how long do speeding tickets stay on my record?

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