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Received a Reckless Driving Ticket in Colorado?


If you've received a reckless driving ticket in Colorado, the first thing to know is that a reckless driving citation is serious and can cause significant consequences if you don't take care of the situation properly. In Colorado, reckless driving is a Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense and can land you in jail.


What Does Reckless Driving Mean?

Reckless driving is a criminal offense and defined as flagrant careless, disregard for the safety of yourself or others on the road. This is generally applies to speeding 20+ mph over the speed limit and other more dangerous driving behaviours.


Penalties usually include fines and jail time, license suspension, higher insurance premiums/ surcharges, and probation or parole usually. The following sections detail exactly what this means in practice.

The first part of understanding reckless driving is knowing how fast you have to drive to qualify as reckless. In Colorado, 20+ mph over the speed limit is enough for this charge to apply. Some other examples of careless driving that might also qualify as reckless are:

-Driving with tires squealing or spinning on pavement.

-Gratuitous swerving between lanes.

-Unnecessary slow driving on the highway.

-Tailgating other drivers.

-Any willful demonstration of a wanton disregard for people and property by speeding, stopping in traffic, or turning without giving thought to safety.

How Does Reckless Driving Differ from Careless Driving?

If you are convicted of careless driving, you will usually receive a fine but no jail time.

If you are convicted of reckless driving, however, there is a chance that you will go to jail, in addition to receiving other penalties such as fines and license suspension.

Why Do Colorado Drivers Receive a Reckless Driving Ticket?

Reckless driving is a surprisingly common charge for speeding, but there are some other reasons you might receive a ticket for this. Some of these reasons include:

-Chasing another car

-Colliding with another vehicle or object

-Having an accident due to hazardous road conditions (such as lots of rain, ice, snow)

-Aiming the vehicle at an officer and gunning the engine

-When it's just "super fast" meaning no traffic around, no reason given by the officer. This usually means over 100 mph in a 65 mph zone. But it doesn't have to be that fast--just super bad driving skills.

-Driving with headlights off

-Driving on the wrong side of road/wrong way on a one-way street.

-Failing to stop at a stop sign or red light

-Parking in a fire lane.

-Driving on a sidewalk

-Driving against the traffic flow (commonly known as "going the wrong way)."

Some of these reasons may sound sketchy, but they all qualify as reckless driving behavior if they meet the criteria. If you want to fight your reckless driving ticket, it's worth looking into how your situation fits into this list.

What Potential Penalties Come with Receiving a Reckless Driving Ticket in Colorado?

Receiving a reckless driving ticket comes with several penalties, the first of which is usually an increase in your insurance premiums. This can be anywhere from $30-$120 dollars per month for multiple years.

If you are convicted of reckless driving, the judge may also order you to go to traffic school or even serve jail time. The penalty will vary depending upon whether this was your first conviction and how egregious your behavior was. License suspension is also a standard penalty for reckless driving, as is probation or parole.

Another potential penalty is a fine. This will vary depending upon whether this was your first offense and how bad your reckless driving behavior was. Usually, the maximum amount you can be fined in Colorado is $1,000 for a first time offense.

If you are convicted of reckless driving, it will result in an automatic six points on your license. This charge stays on your record for 10 years. This may even lead to the loss of your license.

Lastly, a reckless driving conviction can affect your job. Many employers will not want to hire someone with a criminal record, and a reckless driving conviction is considered a criminal offense.

How Do You Fight a Reckless Driving Citation?

Fighting a reckless driving ticket is challenging, but it's possible. The main key to fighting a reckless driving ticket is knowing what counts as reckless so that you can argue against it. Your case should have documentation of any mitigating circumstances along with a solid argument explaining why your behaviour did not fall under recklessness.

If you can't find a way to do this or feel like you're not ready yet, then getting assistance from an experienced Colorado criminal defense traffic attorney could be helpful.

Possible Reckless Driving Defenses

A possible defense might be proving that your speed was reasonable given traffic conditions.

For example, going 20+ mph over the speed limit might not seem reckless if everyone else around you was also going faster than the speed limit.


renters rights

Another potential defense is pointing out that specific terms on your reckless driving ticket do not meet certain standards. If terms used on the ticket are incorrect, or if there are some significant issues with how the ticket was written, then you might be able to argue that the ticket is not valid.

For example, a ticket needs to include information about where exactly the infraction took place and what lane you were in when the officer saw you commit the offense. If the ticket does not contain that information, you might have legal grounds to fight the citation.

Keep in Mind

Receiving a reckless driving ticket is not the end of the world, but it does come with several penalties that can adversely affect your life. The most important thing you should keep in mind when fighting one of these tickets is whether or not your behavior fits under recklessness. If it doesn't, then there is no reason why you should be convicted, and it's worth looking into how to fight your specific situation.

Contact Us

Contact us to get the legal advice you need to ensure that your rights are protected if you have been issued a ticket for reckless driving in Colorado.



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