What Is The Definition Of Reckless Driving In New York?
Reckless driving is a term that is thrown around in a somewhat liberal manner – but what exactly does it mean? Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes “recklessness.” For some people, reckless driving might be failing to completely stop at a stop sign. For others, reckless driving might be speeding into oncoming traffic in the wrong lane. If you have been charged with reckless driving in New York, your first step should be to understand the exact, legal definition of this term. From there, you can work with a qualified traffic defense lawyer in New York to formulate an appropriate defense strategy.
The Legal Definition of Reckless Driving in New York
The definition of reckless driving in New York is described by NY Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1212. Under this section, reckless driving is defined as using a vehicle in a way that
“unreasonably interferes” with the proper use of the road – or in a manner that “endangers” others.
This suggests that there are two different ways you can commit the offense of reckless driving in New York. The first might involve simply interfering with other drivers in some way. The second might involve endangering other people’s safety.
Examples of Reckless Driving in New York
One example of reckless driving in New York might involve parking your vehicle in the middle of the road for no apparent reason. Even though parking a vehicle in this manner might not directly endanger other people, it still “interferes” with the ability of others to use the road. This is also why driving too slowly can (somewhat counterintuitively) be technically defined as reckless driving.
A more direct example of reckless driving might be swerving between different lanes in a way that causes clear threats to others. Other examples might include driving on the sidewalk, “drifting” around corners, and tailgating. It is worth mentioning that all of these examples do not necessarily involve high speeds. You may be charged with speeding in addition to reckless driving, and it is a separate offense.
Police Can Define Reckless Driving However They Want
It is also worth mentioning that the legal definition of reckless driving is intentionally vague. This gives police officers the freedom to define reckless driving however they want. As long as they believe that you were driving in a reckless manner, they can charge you with the offense. However, your defense attorney can refer to the specific wording of the legislation – pointing out that your driving did not interfere with or endanger other drivers.
Find a Qualified Traffic Defense Attorney in New York
If you have been charged with reckless driving in New York, consider getting in touch with a qualified New York criminal defense attorney at your earliest convenience. Choose Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney at Law to discuss your specific situation in more detail. With our help, you can strive for the best possible outcomes in a confident, efficient manner.