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What Are the Differences Between DUI and Reckless Driving Charges in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, two of the most intense driving violation include DUI and reckless driving charges. Understanding what both of these offenses entail and how they differ is essential to understanding the extent of the violations. If you are facing either one of these charges, knowing how to proceed is vital. If you have been charged with either of these crimes, ensuring you enlist the help of an experienced Bergen County traffic ticket attorney is essential to doing what you can to achieve the best possible outcome, whether you are guilty or not.

What Constitutes Reckless Driving Charges?

While many are familiar with the reasoning behind obtaining a DUI, understanding what actions can land a reckless driving charge is essential.

First and foremost, New Jersey state law dictates that anyone who operates a vehicle with willful disregard for others’ safety by endangering a person or property can be charged with reckless driving. Essentially, ignoring the rules surrounding safe driving and choosing to do so regardless of the risk of injury is reckless driving. For example, excessive speeding, weaving through tight traffic at high speeds, or failing to yield for pedestrians in crosswalks can land you with reckless driving charges.

How Do They Differ From DUIs?

To begin, the most notable difference is that reckless driving is a violation treated like a crime, while a DUI is a traditional criminal charge. This means reckless driving will not appear on a criminal background check, while a DUI will.

Another significant difference is the penalties you can face for a DUI charge. A reckless driving charge will assess five points against your license, while a DUI does not carry any DMV points but rather nine insurance points. However, a DUI charge comes with a suspended license, hefty fines, insurance surcharges, and the potential for jail time.

In some instances, you may receive a reckless driving charge if you are not at the legal limit for a DUI, while other times you may receive both reckless driving and DUI charges.

What Should I Do if I’m in Legal Trouble?

If you receive a reckless driving violation or DUI, understanding what your options are is essential. In general, a reckless driving charge is less severe than a DUI, and many assume they are able to plead down to this charge. However, in New Jersey, prosecutors are prohibited from offering this plea bargain. Instead, ensure you have the help of an experienced attorney to review your case and offer the best possible defense for your DUI charge may force the prosecutor to change the charge to reckless driving, as they do not have indisputable evidence that the charge is enforceable.

When you’re facing charges, the Law Office of Attorney Conway is here to help. We have the necessary experience to guide you through these charges and will fight for the best possible outcome for your specific circumstances. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.

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