What is a Careless Driving Charge In Colorado?

Mar 1, 2020 | Reckless Driving, Traffic Defense

Few things we do on a daily basis demand more attention, caution, and care than driving. When we get behind the wheel, we are expected to drive safely, with care for the safety of other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. When police believe that a Colorado driver is not meeting those expectations and is driving in a manner that puts others at risk, that can lead to criminal charges for either “careless driving” or “reckless “reckless driving.”

If police assert that you were driving “in a careless and imprudent manner, without due regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and use of the streets and highways and all other attendant circumstances,” you could be charged with careless driving under C.R.E. § 42-4-1402. You can be charged with this offense even if you’re not driving a car, as it also applies to anyone driving a “bicycle, electrical assisted bicycle, or low-powered scooter.”

While a charge of being “careless” may not seem like a big deal, a conviction for careless driving can be. You could lose your right to drive, your insurance rates may skyrocket, you may face significant fines, and you could even go to jail. 4 points will be added to your driving record, and second or subsequent convictions can do even more damage to your record.

Reckless Driving in Colorado

As serious as a careless driving conviction can be, a Colorado reckless driving conviction can disrupt your life even more. Reckless driving is defined in C.R.E. § 42-4-1401. as driving “in such a manner as to indicate either a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property.”

Any number of dangerous driving behaviors can lead to reckless driving charges, and if you are charged with speeding 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, you’ll be charged with reckless driving in addition to speeding.

Since this charge involves putting the lives of others at risk, the penalties are greater than for careless driving.  A conviction for reckless driving is a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense that carries a possible penalty of between 10 and 90 days in jail and/or fines of between $150 and $300, with harsher penalties for subsequent convictions. Your driving record will take a hit of 8 points for a first offense, and combined with other traffic convictions, can result in a license suspension. If the reckless driving resulted in serious injury or death, the consequences will match the seriousness of such a tragic outcome.

Treat Colorado Reckless Driving Charges Seriously – Get a Defense Lawyer Now

If you’ve been charged with either careless driving or reckless driving in Colorado Springs, don’t make the mistake of treating these charges like a run-of-the-mill traffic ticket. You have a lot at risk when facing the possibility of a conviction. Trying to fight the charges on your own – or even worse, ignoring or pleading guilty to the charges – can disrupt your life and cost you large sums of money and even your freedom.

An experienced Colorado Springs reckless driving defense lawyer can evaluate your case advise you of your options, and work to either beat the charges or keep the consequences to a minimum.

Contact us to speak with a Colorado Springs defense attorney about your charges.