Reckless Driving – N.J.S.A. 39:4-966

Reckless Driving – N.J.S.A. 39:4-966


Following a motor vehicle stop or car accident, a driver may be charged with a reckless driving ticket or a careless driving ticket. Both these offenses are defined by two separate statutes, and carry different penalties. However, reckless driving carries significantly harsher penalties than careless driving. Reckless Driving in the state of New Jersey is defined as “a person who drives a vehicle heedlessly, in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property” N.J.S.A. 39:4-966.

In order to successfully fight a reckless driving violation, you must understand how New Jersey municipal courts treat the offense and what consequences the offense carries. Reckless Driving can result in:

  • A fine from $50 to $200 for a 1st offense and up to $500 for a 2nd offense.
  • A suspension of your Driver’s License for up to 45 days, at the discretion of the court.
  • An assessment of 5 points against your driving record.



How does the New Jersey Point System Work?


The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission charges points against your driving record for traffic offenses, whether major or minor, for moving violations. This should be specifically concerning for you as a reckless driving ticket can result in 5 motor vehicle points.

Important things to to know:

  • If you accumulate 6 or more points within 3 years in New Jersey, the Motor Vehicle Commission (“MVC”) will require you to pay a surcharge every year for 3 years. These are additional charges, not including fines issued by the court or other penalties.
  • If you accumulate 12 points on your record, you license will most likely be suspended.
  • If your license is suspended, there is a $100 restoration fee in order for your license to be reissued following your suspension.



Will My Insurance Rate Increase?


Auto insurance companies in the state of New Jersey use a similar point system that the MVC uses to determine how much a driver will be required to pay for auto coverage. Some auto insurance companies use the same point system as the MVC. The more points a driver accumulates, the greater the risk is for a higher insurance premium.



What Should I do if I am Charged with Reckless Driving?



Hire an experienced attorney today who will zealously advocate on your behalf. An attorney will work to plea down to a lesser offense or present grounds for an outright dismissal of the charge.





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