ot all Arizona traffic citations are a simple fine. You could be issued a criminal citation for reckless driving or aggressive driving. These charges are far more serious than a speeding ticket and could get you time in jail, a significant license suspension, as well as stick you with a permanent criminal record. If you are shocked to find yourself in this situation, get help right away by talking to us in a free consultation on your criminal traffic case.
Don’t plead guilty, assuming you can’t do anything about it. In many cases, we can get a reckless driving charge in Arizona reduced to a civil, non-criminal penalty, saving you potentially thousands of dollars, and finding ways for you to keep your driver’s license and keeping your criminal record clean.
Reckless Driving Laws and Penalties
You may be charged with reckless driving if you were driving with “reckless disregard” for the safety of other people or property. This means that extremely high rates of speed, swerving, tailgating, and generally poor driving could get you charged with reckless driving.
The nature of this offense is quite subjective, so it is very possible the police could overcharge you. In court, we will argue that the facts don’t merit such a serious penalty, and look to get your charges reduced down from a criminal offense.
a Reckless driving charge is a Class 2 misdemeanor under Arizona criminal law, in most cases.
Your potential sentence for reckless driving if you are convicted could be:
- up to 4 months in jail
- fines of up to $750
If you are convicted you will face a suspended driver’s license and will lose your driving privileges for an amount of time to be determined by the judge. For many people, a suspended license is the worst part of this charge. If you need your license to get to work and make a living, it makes sense to fight this charge and work to find a away to avoid this suspension.
If you have a previous conviction and are facing a second offense reckless driving charge, Arizona law classifies this offense as Class 1 misdemeanor charge.
The penalties for a 2nd offense of reckless driving in Arizona are:
- up to 6 months in jail
- fines of p to $2,500
- revocation of your driver’s license
Upon your second conviction, you will not be eligible for probation or other suspension of sentence until you have served a minimum of 20 days in jail.
Ref: Arizona Reckless Driving Laws ARS 28-693
Arizona Aggressive Driving Laws & Penalties
Road rage, though not a new occurrence, has grown in numbers and severity over the past several years. Congested road ways lead some drivers to anger which causes them to drive more irresponsibly and often in an aggressive manner.
Under Arizona law, aggressive driving is defined as a progression of illegal driving behaviors including speeding, illegal or excessive lane changes, failure to obey traffic signals, passing on the right by driving off of the pavement or driving lanes, failure to yield the right of way, or following too closely.
The real test of aggressive driving is if the driver’s (you, the defendant) actions pose an immediate hazard to other drivers or vehicles.
Aggressive driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by:
- up to 6 months in jail
- fines of up to $2,500
- successful completion of traffic school
- 30 days drivers license suspension
If this is your second or subsequent conviction your driving privileges will be revoked for one year.
Ref: Arizona Aggressive Driving Laws ARS 28-695
Racing on Highways – Arizona Racing Laws
If you are accused of racing on Arizona highways or other roads, you will very likely be prosecuted very aggressively. Because of the high incidents of dangerous accidents, and the fact that these cases often make the local news, the courts are serious about punishing those who violate this law.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t beat these charges. Most criminal racing charges in Arizona involve young people, so you need to consider the impact of a permanent criminal record if you just agree to plead guilty. A criminal conviction can severely effect a person’s future career and school opportunities. You should always fully evaluate every possibly chance to get the charges dropped or reduced from a serious criminal black mark on your record.
Arizona Racing Charges – Penalites
If you are charged with racing, you are facing class1 misdemeanor charges with a potential sentence of:
- up to 6 months in jail, and
- fines of $250- $2,500
If this is your second or subsequent charge in a period of 6 months, the charge is elevated to a class 6 felony.
Felony racing can get you one year in state prison and fines of over $500.
With any racing charge, a judge may (and very likely will) order your driving privileges be suspended.
Ref: Arizona Laws – Racing on Highways ARS 28-708
Please contact our Arizona law offices for a free criminal consultation on any Arizona reckless driving or criminal traffic charge. There is no obligation to get our take on your sitation. We can help.