Reckless Driving Laws under California Vehicle Code

Reckless Driving Laws

Charges and Penalties that Sacramento Drivers Could face if found Liable for Reckless Driving

Reckless driving, under the Californian Vehicle Code, constitutes a serious offense that is prosecuted as a misdemeanor charge in a court of law. Reckless driving laws are meant to protect motorists and other road users from elements in the community that may unknowingly, or in other times, plainly disregard safety driving measures in public roads and highways.

A reckless driving charge in California carries with it numerous consequences to the offending party. Since it is considered a criminal offense, a motorist found guilty of driving recklessly could find themselves ending up with a permanent criminal record, in addition to hefty fines ranging from $145 to $1000. At the extremes, the offender could face jail term ranging from 5 to 90 days. These charges could, however, be increased if one is found to be a repeat offender with a previous record under their name. Even worse will be a situation where someone is hurt or killed as a result of the reckless driving by the offender.

In addition to the penalties that a reckless driver may be required to pay under the California laws, the state will issue two demerit points to your driving record, the consequence of which is a possible increase in insurance rates.

Considering these implications, it would be necessary for motorists on California’s highways to understand the laws that guide traffic in and around the city.

Good practice, for instance, is understanding the behavior that might land one in trouble with the authorities on a reckless driving charge. These behaviors would most probably be considered in court when determining your guilt. High-speed rates, swerving in the middle of the road, tailgating, among others, are some of the most common instances of misdemeanors that will be examined by the prosecution. If you understand these aspects and avoid them while driving, you would rarely find yourself unknowingly committing the reckless driving offense.

It is also worth noting that apart from the standard misdemeanor charge, one could be prosecuted for assault or assault with a deadly weapon as a result of reckless driving under the California traffic laws. This charge would stand given that the government considers a vehicle as a deadly weapon if driven with extreme aggression.

Many motorists have occasionally found themselves battling charges in court as a result of driving recklessly both knowing and unknowingly. However, we urge all motorists always to stay informed on the current traffic laws and observe good practice at all times while on the road to avoid conflicts with the authorities and the consequences of reckless driving.


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