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Birmingham Reckless Driving Lawyer

The Michigan State Motor Vehicle Code defines reckless driving as operating a vehicle with wanton disregard for the safety of people or property. This could be driving at excessive speed, driving the wrong way on a road, or dangerously swerving around the road. Regardless of the reason for the charge, reckless driving is a very serious offense that could potentially result in jail time.

If you have been charged with operating a motor vehicle unsafely, you may need the services of a Birmingham reckless driving lawyer. An experienced traffic attorney could help mitigate potential penalties and provide advice on how to handle your case from charge to trial.

Common Types of Reckless Driving in Birmingham

The most common type of reckless driving in Birmingham is extreme speeding. Most of the speed limits in  Birmingham are 25 miles an hour. Even going through that area 10 or 15 miles an hour over the speed limit could be grounds for a reckless driving charge. If there are other factors such as a pedestrian crossing the street, children present, or if the incident took place in a school zone could compound a reckless driving charge.

Speeding is a common civil infraction, but reckless driving is a criminal charge. Speeding elevates to reckless driving when it becomes dangerous to the public. The arresting officer and prosecuting attorney may also issue reckless driving charges as a bargaining chip to try to get the defendant to accept a lesser charge.

How serious of an offense is reckless driving in Birmingham?

Reckless driving is a very serious offense in Birmingham carrying many of the same consequences as operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol (OWI or DUI). Penalties may include up to 93 days in jail, a fine of up to $500, six points on the driver’s record, and a 90-day suspension of the license. Reckless driving charges in Birmingham cannot be expunged at a later date. Having a criminal record could raise a driver’s insurance rate, affect their employment, or prevent them from getting a concealed carry license. A Birmingham reckless driving lawyer can build a strong defense to fight these potential consequences.

Reckless driving is far more severe than a speeding ticket. Most speeding tickets will put points on a person’s license and have a fine, but they are not criminal charges. Some drivers may even be willing or able to deal with a speeding ticket on their own, but it is essential to get a criminal defense lawyer for a reckless driving case. Unlike a speeding ticket, reckless driving is a misdemeanor in Michigan, requiring a court appearance to either enter a plea or take the case to trial.

The Process of a Reckless Driving Case

Reckless driving is a criminal offense requiring full due process of law. This process includes an arraignment, pretrial proceedings, and potentially a trial. After trial or a plea bargain, a driver may have to pay further fines, face a probationary period for their license (such as court supervision) or potentially even go to jail if there is a prior criminal record.

The judges in Birmingham tend to be very focused on the law, often pursuing full punishment for any offense placed on their docket. That means the ability to obtain a good plea deal is limited, but an experienced Birmingham reckless driving lawyer can help negotiate for the best possible outcome.  It is important to remember that judges will treat reckless driving as a serious criminal charge, so defendants should retain a skilled lawyer to fight for their best interests.

An attorney’s role in a reckless driving case is to act as a legal advisor and an advocate in court. The first duty is to inform the driver of their rights, the process for their case, and what strategy could work best for them. After that duty has been satisfied, the lawyer can act as an outspoken champion in court, making arguments on the driver’s behalf.

A reckless driving lawyer can use the discovery of evidence to craft a strong case. Even if there is a conviction based on incontrovertible evidence, an attorney may be able to shield the driver from the worst consequences they may face.

Work with a Local Attorney to Fight Your Birmingham Reckless Driving Charges

A dedicated Birmingham reckless driving attorney could help you fight the charges you have received. Reckless driving is a serious criminal offense and should not be treated as a regular speeding ticket. Call a lawyer today to start working on your case.