Negligent Operation / Reckless Driving
If you have been arrested or cited for a negligent operation of a motor vehicle (reckless driving) criminal charge. You may not realize that your driving could be considered a criminal offense. Charges like this are far more than a “ticket” and shouldn’t be handled without the assistance of a local Massachusetts defense attorney.Criminal Charge in Massachusetts? Call Attorney Russell Matson at (781) 817-6332.
The determination to charge you with a criminal driving offense like negligent operation or reckless driving can be made using a variety of factors. Perhaps you were speeding and cutting people off or riding too closely. Because there isn’t just one situation that leads to charges like these, they can be applied in a variety of situations.
If the prosecution can prove that you acted negligently or recklessly in a manner that endangered people in a public place or roadway, or private area where the public was invited, you can face these charges.
Both negligent driving and reckless driving are considered misdemeanors. When facing a charge like this, you are talking about a criminal record. This isn’t some minor fine that will just go away. You will carry this record forever.
Massachusetts Negligent Operation / Reckless Driving Penalties
Criminal misdemeanor charges for reckless driving or negligent operation, can lead to up to 2 ½ years in state jail and large fines. You are also likely to get a suspended or revoked license, depending on your driving record. While jail time for a driving offense is rare, remember this is a criminal charge not a traffic ticket.
Ref: MGL §90.24
Driving To Endanger
Driving to endanger, or operating a motor vehicle so as to endanger is another criminal traffic offense, which is typically a misdemeanor criminal charge, that can result in jail time depending on the circumstances.
Penalties & Defense Strategies
If you do not have any prior related offenses, and a decent driving record, we can typically out a Continuance Without Finding on a negligent operation or reckless charge. Also known as a CWOF, this plea arrangement allows you to serve probation, and technically avoid a guilty plea, though it is the same as admitting to sufficient facts to find you guilty. But if asked if you have been convicted of a crime, you can truthfully say no, after a CWOF.
The penalties you face and how we address the charges in court depend largely on the specific circumstances of your case. No two reckless driving cases are alike and I need to know more details about your charges before I can suggest your best options in court, whether it is to fight the charge at trial, or work out the best plea deal possible.
The statutes for driving negligently are open to significant interpretation, and opinion. This means we can often claim that the police officer or witness made a mistake, or overestimated the danger of the driving behavior.
And after reviewing the facts in the police report, it is also possible to get the charges dropped altogether. I’ve read literally hundreds of police reports alleging negligent operation, so I know how to break down what sounds like a beatable case and what doesn’t. I will challenge the evidence against you to ensure you are getting every shot at absolution possible.
The primary goal in reckless or negligent operation cases is to remove the threat of a criminal conviction on your record. Contact me today to discuss your chances at a CWOF or a dismissal of the charges against you. I will gladly give you a free consultation, and some valuable legal advice.
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