Reckless Driving in New York
Uploaded on: Jun 15, 2022
Duration: 2.5 Min

Video Description

Reckless driving is driving a motor vehicle in a way that either unreasonably interferes with other people’s use of public roads or unreasonably endangers other drivers. A few factors that typically characterize a reckless driving offense are:

  • Multiple traffic violations
  • Causing a danger on the road
  • Showing disregard for others

New York law punishes reckless driving more harshly than other moving violations. This misdemeanor offense carries serious penalties, like a real risk of jail time, fines and surcharges, points on your license, and possible license suspension.  It is also treated more seriously by judges and prosecutors.

Penalties include:

  • Possible jail time (up to 30 days for 1st offense)
  • Fines & surcharges
  • 5 points on your license
  • Possible license suspension


Most people charged with reckless driving feel the officer was wrong. And some of them may have a point. The reckless driving offense leaves officers with a lot of discretion to decide what sort of driving they think falls within the offense, and sometimes they are wrong. 

There are two main defenses against a reckless driving charge. One is to claim there are no aggravating factors; that the driver did nothing more than commit a traffic violation. Remember that reckless driving is something more than a simple traffic violation. The prosecution might say something like, “the defendant purposely sped through the intersection, running a red light and barely missing several cars.” The defense will paint a different picture. For example, I might say, “my client misjudged his stopping distance and crossed the intersection just as the light turned red.” The first version sounds reckless. My version sounds like a simple traffic violation.

A second defense is that the driver didn’t endanger anyone else and was driving reasonably under the circumstances. This argument focuses on the letter of the law. You’re saying to the court, my driving didn’t endanger anyone, didn’t interfere with anyone’s use of the road, and wasn’t unreasonable, so how could I have violated the statute?

With the right representation, it’s possible to convince the court that your conduct doesn’t amount to reckless driving. If you’ve been charged with this offense in New York, contact Rosenblum Law for a consultation. Our expert attorneys are skilled at swaying the court and helping drivers avoid the consequences of a reckless driving conviction.

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