Reckless Driving

In Delaware Reckless Driving is motor vehicle offense that involves driving a vehicle while purposely disregarding the safety of other persons or property. The precise definition of the statute can be found at 21 Del.C. §4175.

A reckless driving charge can arise in two situations. First, you can be charged with reckless driving if cited by a police officer for driving your vehicle unsafely on a highway. Second, reckless driving is a lesser charge to DUI that attorneys routinely use to plead down DUI cases in Delaware.

What are the Penalties for Reckless Driving in Delaware?

If convicted of reckless driving for a first offense you will be fined between $100 and $300 OR imprisoned between 10 and 30 days OR both. The period of imprisonment may be suspended for a first offense. Reckless driving will be reported to motor vehicle and 6 points will be assessed on your driving record. Your insurance rates will likely increase. For a second offense that occurs within 3 years from the previous offense, the penalties increase to a fine between $300 and $1000 OR imprisonment between 30 and 60 days. For a second offense the imprisonment may not be suspended.

Reckless Driving Alcohol-Related or Drug-Related

In Delaware, if you were originally charged with DUI you may be able to plead to what is known as Reckless Driving Alcohol-Related or Drug- Related. If you take a DUI Alcohol-Related plea, in addition to the fines above you will be ordered to have a drug and alcohol evaluation and attend DUI classes or inpatient treatment depending on what is recommended. If convicted of a Reckless Alcohol-Related, a notation will be entered on your motor vehicle record that this offense was alcohol related and it will count as a first DUI for purposes of counting subsequent DUI offenses. If convicted you will not have a visible criminal record for employers to see but the offense will be on your motor vehicle record, 6 points will be assessed to your driving record and your car insurance rates will likely increase.

Pleading a DUI Down to a "Straight Reckless"

In Delaware, if you are facing DUI charges and get a plea deal called a "straight reckless", you did very well. A "straight reckless" is a when you are facing a DUI and the prosecutor pleads you to a reckless driving WITHOUT the notation on your motor vehicle record that it was alcohol (DUI) related. A "straight reckless" will not count as a first offense DUI, you will not have to do DUI classes, and will merely be subject to the penalties above: likely a $100 fine and 6 points on your license for a first offense. The goal for many DUI attorneys in Delaware is to plead your case down to a "straight reckless" and hope the police officer does not show up to the motor vehicle hearing so that your license will not be suspended. Many times the police will NOT show up to the motor vehicle hearing. The Attorney General's Office currently has marching orders to NOT give out deals for "straight reckless." They will typically not plead the case down to a "straight reckless" unless there is a defect in the case that would cause them to lose.

Contact Jason Antoine, Delaware Reckless Driving attorney at 302-482-4802 if you have been cited for reckless driving or have a pending DUI case that you would like to plead down to a reckless driving. Our office offers free consultations.

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