What if you receive a summons for reckless driving in New York State?
VTL section 1212 governs the law regarding reckless driving throughout New York, and this particular law is quite perilous for motorists charged with violating its provisions.
Reckless driving is a misdemeanor punishable with jail time and a monetary fine, but that is not my main concern in this post. My main issue is the difference in treatment throughout the various courts in the state when a person is charged with reckless driving.
In New York City, it is often times helpful, believe or not, for an officer to hand a motorist/defendant a ticket for reckless driving. That is because in New York City, the very busy criminal courts which handle all kinds of severe criminal behavior generally do not treat reckless driving too seriously.
In fact, it is often possible for an attorney to plea bargain a reckless driving summons for a motorist to a non-point health law violation without the appearance of the motorist being required. It is always helpful to have an attorney in court with you when charged with reckless driving due to the potential for jail time or five points on your license and a monetary fine.
Away from New York City, reckless driving is treated much more seriously and it is always important to bring an attorney with you to court with the possibility of jail looming in the background.
What exactly is reckless driving? Nobody really knows. It is up to the police officer or trooper who writes the ticket to decide. Typically, it involves two or more traffic offenses at once, like speeding plus following too closely or speeding plus changing lanes improperly.
My office is always glad to assist with any reckless driving summons you receive anywhere in New York State.