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What happens after a reckless driving charge in Tennessee?

Most driving offenses are civil infractions. That means that you don’t face any criminal consequences and just have to pay a fine.

However, reckless driving is a traffic offense that crosses the line in to criminal activity. If an officer alleges that you engaged in reckless driving on public roads in Tennessee, what will that mean for you?

When compared with a standard speeding ticket or failure to yield citation, a reckless driving charge is much more serious because it is a Class B misdemeanor. The potential penalties include fines of up to $500 and up to six months in jail.

Additionally, reckless driving could lead to as many as 7 points on your driver’s license, which could affect both your ability to drive and the price that you pay for insurance. Fighting the charges could mean walking away without any penalties or pleading the case down to a civil infraction instead of a misdemeanor.

What constitutes reckless driving?

Under Tennessee law, reckless driving can involve any sort of behavior that willfully endangers someone in a vehicle or others on or near the road. Examples of reckless driving practices include going the wrong way on a one-way street on purpose, drag racing on public roads or driving at extremely high speeds, such as 30 miles per hour over the posted limit.

There’s a lot of discretion left to the officer who witnessed questionable driving. What one officer may think of as reckless, another may simply consider speeding. Although many people scoff at the idea of defending against traffic citations, pushing back against a reckless driving allegation can be a better option than pleading guilty.