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Connecticut General Statutes § 14-222 – Reckless Driving

Reckless Driving Generally

Police Car Reckless driving involves the operation of a motor vehicle. Still, it is a criminal offense and needs to be treated seriously because a conviction will result in a permanent criminal record. The most common situation where reckless driving is charged in Connecticut is where motorists are driving faster than 85 mph, which is reckless driving per se. Other situations where reckless driving can be charged is when you operate a motor vehicle at a rate of speed that would endanger someone else's life. A conviction for reckless driving also will result in a suspension of your driver's license and a significant increase in insurance rates. If someone was injured or killed while you are reckless driving, you might also face more serious felony charges.

Elements of the Crime That Must be Proven by the State

To be convicted of reckless driving in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 14-222, the state's attorney has to prove the following elements of the crime:

The accused was operating a motor vehicle on a road, parking lot, or highway for at least ten cars; and

  1. Drove at a rate of speed that would endanger someone else's life; or
  2. Operated a motor vehicle with a commercial registration with the gears or clutch disengaged; or
  3. Knowingly operate a motor vehicle with a defective mechanism; or
  4. Drive at a speed greater than 85 miles per hour.
Examples

A man is driving his car on I-95 at 98 mph when he is caught by a state trooper in a speed trap. Since the man was going faster than 85 mph, this is reckless driving per se. The man could be convicted for reckless driving in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 14-222.

A man is driving a car under the influence of alcohol, and he is approaching a corner at a high rate of speed and goes off the road. The man could be charged with reckless driving in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 14-222 because he drove at a speed that endangered someone else's life. Additionally, the man could be charged with DUI in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 14-227a.

Related Offenses

Connecticut General Statutes § 14-227(a) - DUI

Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-56b - Manslaughter with a Motor Vehicle in the 2nd Degree

Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-57 - Misconduct with a Motor Vehicle

Defenses to Reckless Driving

You can be charged with reckless driving whenever you exhibit behavior that the police determine is reckless or endangers the lives of others. Since "reckless" is not explicitly defined, this is the element that may be easiest to challenge. We may be able to raise a reasonable doubt about any of the elements, including recklessness. The surrounding circumstances will determine whether that act was reckless.

Even if you were charged with reckless driving for driving over 85 mph, we could contest the determination of the speed. If the speed was officially clocked on the radar, we could look at whether the radar device was appropriately maintained and calibrated. If we can raise sufficient reasonable doubt about "recklessness" or another element, it may be possible to negotiate to have the charge reduced from a criminal charge to a moving violation.

Penalties

Reckless driving is a misdemeanor and will give you a criminal record. If you are convicted, you will be fined at least $100 and up to $300. In addition, you will face a license suspension. You also can be incarcerated for up to 30 days. For each subsequent reckless driving offense, you can face a fine of up to $600 and incarceration for a year.

Let Us Defend Your Reckless Driving Case!

If you or a loved one has been arrested for reckless driving, it is essential that you contact a top Connecticut criminal defense attorney. Allan F. Friedman has over 25 years of experience defending criminal allegations.

For more information about defending reckless driving allegations in violation of C.G.S. § 14-222, contact Stamford criminal lawyer Allan F. Friedman to arrange your free, no-obligation, initial consultation. Our offices are located at 24 Hoyt St #A, Stamford, CT 06905. Mr. Friedman can be reached 24/7 at (203) 357-5555, or you can contact us online for a prompt response.

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