Asserting Your Rights And Protecting Your Future

When can Idaho file reckless driving charges against a motorist?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2024 | Reckless/Inattentive Driving

Traffic violations often don’t seem like a very serious concern unless a crash occurs. However, Idaho, like many other states, may treat traffic infractions more seriously than drivers expect. Someone pulled over for what they assume should be a simple citation might actually end up arrested by a police officer.

There are certain traffic violations that are serious enough to warrant criminal charges rather than simply a ticket. Those more serious offenses include impaired driving and also reckless driving. A reckless driving offense is usually a misdemeanor offense.

When might Idaho authorities accuse someone of reckless driving?

When driving habits may endanger people or property

If police officers witness someone driving in a patently unsafe manner, they may conduct a traffic stop. Excessive speeding, road rage incidents, racing on the street and other unsafe conduct might lead to an officer arresting someone for reckless driving instead of simply writing them a ticket.

The law in Idaho leaves reckless driving issues somewhat open to interpretation. Any conduct that is careless and unsafe that creates risk for other people or their property might constitute reckless driving. If an officer can convince the courts that someone drove in a manner that displayed a disregard for their safety and the safety of others, that could be enough to justify reckless driving charges.

Particularly if there are allegations of recklessness leading to a collision, the state may pursue reckless driving charges rather than simply issuing a ticket with basic financial penalties. A first conviction can lead to up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines. The judge can also suspend someone’s driver’s license for between 90 and 180 days.

A second reckless driving conviction within five years of the first could lead to up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. Inattentive driving is a lesser offense that still leads to misdemeanor charges in Idaho. Those who are careless or imprudent could face up to 90 days in jail and $300 in fines.

There are many ways for someone to defend against reckless driving charges in Idaho. The circumstances that led to their prosecution and the claims of the police officer regarding their conduct at the wheel can have a profound influence on the best defense strategy. Taking a reckless driving case to trial can be a worthwhile endeavor for many of those who are worried about insurance costs, licensing and criminal records tied to a possible reckless driving conviction.