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Can a reckless driving conviction put you in jail?

On Behalf of | May 12, 2022 | Criminal Law |

You might not be under the influence of alcohol or have gotten into an automobile accident, but it is still possible that the police might pull you over. The reason is due to the way you are driving. New Jersey has reckless driving laws that can not only result in fines but subject you to jail time.

New Jersey law describes what it means to drive recklessly and the possible penalties that can result if a court convicts someone of this offense.

The state definition of reckless driving

Driving recklessly generally involves disregarding common traffic laws like speeding or yielding to oncoming traffic. New Jersey law defines this kind of driving as willfully disregarding the rights and safety of other people in a way that either outright endangers a person or property or has the potential to create this kind of danger.

By this definition of reckless driving, you could speed on an empty road and still draw the attention of a police officer simply because, although there is nobody around, it is still possible for you to cause serious injury or death if you eventually encounter motorist or pedestrian traffic.

Possible jail sentences for reckless driving

New Jersey law permits a court to sentence you to jail after a conviction for reckless driving. The exact sentence can vary, but for your first offense, your sentence in jail cannot exceed 60 days, which is about two months’ worth of time. A second conviction could put you in jail for an even longer period of up to three months, with subsequent convictions applying similar amounts of time.

The loss of freedom could seriously disrupt your life, and that is not counting the fines you could pay on top of your jail sentence. Consider taking time to understand legal options that might help you if you face reckless driving or any serious traffic charges.