James K. Minick

James K. Minick

Reckless driving is when an individual drives a vehicle on a road in a manner that is dangerous to the safety of other people or property. In North Carolina, this offense results in misdemeanor charges and possible administrative issues regarding an individual’s driving privileges. The following charges of reckless driving break down the elements of each charge and the potential punishments upon conviction.

Reckless Driving: Carelessly and Heedlessly

Elements

A person is guilty if they:

  1. Drive
  2. A vehicle
  3. On a highway or public vehicular area
  4. Careless and heedlessly
  5. In willful or wanton disregard
  6. Of the rights and safety of others

Punishment

If a person is guilty of reckless driving: carelessly and heedlessly, the person is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-140(d).

Reckless Driving: Endangering Person or Property

Elements

A person is guilty if they:

  1. Drive
  2. A vehicle
  3. On a highway or public vehicular area
  4. Without due caution and circumspection
  5. At a speed or in a manner
  6. That could or does endanger any person or property

Although it seems unusual, an individual can be guilty of this offense even if they were not speeding, as long as they were either putting other people or property in danger. Following the same concept, a person can be not guilty of this offense even if they were speeding, as long as they were not putting other people or property in danger.

Additionally, unlike the crime of reckless driving: carelessly and heedlessly, this crime eliminates the intent element that the previous crime required. As such, a person can be guilty even if they did not intend to drive recklessly.

Punishment

If a person is guilty of reckless driving: endangering person or property, the person is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-140(d).

 

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