What Is Reckless Driving?

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 7.12.21 PMIf you get a pink ticket for reckless driving, you need to know some basic information about this serious charge. Reckless driving is both a crime and a moving violation. VTL § 1212 defines reckless driving as follows:

Pursuant to Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1221, “Reckless driving shall mean driving or using any motor vehicle, motorcycle or any other vehicle propelled by any power other than muscular power or any appliance or accessory thereof in a manner which unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public highway, or unreasonably endangers users of the public highway. Reckless driving is prohibited. Every person violating this provision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”

New York City police officers issue more reckless driving tickets per capita than any other place in New York. Often, they issue them for offenses that are actually mere moving violations. At first blush, the issuance of such tickets may seem unfair but, in practice, the police officer is actually doing the motorist a favor.

While reckless driving is more serious than a moving violation, it can be resolved by plea bargain (unlike NYC moving violations).  Therefore, often a motorist can negotiate this charge down to a 0-point, non-criminal result.  In contrast, a NYC traffic ticket cannot be reduced by a plea deal.  The Traffic Violations Bureau does not engage in deal making.  Therefore, ironically, you have a better chance for a more favorable result  with the more serious charge of reckless driving.

Additionally, a reckless driving ticket can be dismissed if there is a defect in the original copy filed with the court.  On your court date, you or your traffic lawyer can review it for such defects.

Regardless of where your reckless driving charge is issued, you should always fight it.  If you plead guilty, you will have a permanent criminal record, get 5 points assessed to your license, be required to pay a fine and face an auto insurance rate hike.

Our traffic law firm has fought 100s of reckless driving tickets in New York and has a favorably resolved the vast majority of them.  Therefore, there is no good reason for you to just pay it.

For more information about fighting a reckless driving ticket, check out my post entitled “How Much Does A Reckless Driving Ticket Cost?”

Below is a list of courts in New York City which handle reckless driving tickets (also known as a pink summons).

Manhattan (New York) Criminal Court
346 Broadway
New York, NY 10013

New York Midtown Community Court
314 West 54th Street
New York, NY 10019

Queens Criminal Court
120-55 Queens Blvd
Kew Gardens, NY 11375

Bronx Criminal Court
215 East 161st Street
Bronx, NY 10451

Kings (Brooklyn) Criminal Court
120 Schermerhorn Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Kings (Brooklyn) Community Court
88-94 Visitation Place
Red Hook, NY 11201

Richmond (Staten Island) Criminal Court
26 Central Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10301

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Matthew makes a great point about reckless driving here. In Virginia, the laws about reckless driving are among the most severe in the Country. Going 80 mph, regardless of the posted speed limit, would bring a criminal misdemeanor charge. Fairfax County has a lot of traffic because of its proximity to D.C., and a lot of people don’t understand the laws as they travel through. Even if they don’t live in the Commonwealth, they could be charged with a violation there and face very serious penalties.

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