Under the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL), a charge of Reckless Driving pursuant to a VTL 1212 is an unclassified traffic misdemeanor. In short, this is a criminal charge, not a mere traffic violation. The consequences of such a conviction can be extensive, for one’s driving record, insurance rates, employment prospects, and if applicable, one’s immigration processing.
Reckless driving carries 5 DMV points if convicted, and a conviction may result in a revocation of one’s license or driving privileges in New York.
In general, the District Attorney’s Office will take a fairly strong stand on this particular charge given the seriousness of the offense. On occasion, a motorist and their attorney may enter into a “contract” with the DA where they will agree to a suspension of their license/driving privileges for a fixed period of time while the case is pending. During the pendency of the case, the motorist may be required to complete certain actions such as a defensive or aggressive driving program, community service, and not receive any further traffic infractions. Upon successful completion, the DA may entertain a reduction to an amended and reduced charge of a non-criminal traffic violation. Such a reduced and amended charge may be a 3-point speeding violation pursuant to VTL 1180(a) (speed not reasonable/prudent).
Notwithstanding the above, there are certain elements that must be met in order to be convicted of Reckless Driving in New York, and the charge should be carefully reviewed with an experienced New York traffic attorney to determine the best course of action.