Many of our clients that have been charged with a DUI ask if it is possible to get the case reduced to a reckless driving charge. They often ask this without even knowing what the difference is between the two charges, except that a reckless driving does not look as bad as a DUI. While it is true that reckless driving is preferable over a DUI, there are some important things to understand about both offenses.
Georgia law O.C.G.A. §40-6-390 defines reckless driving when “any person who drives any vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Reckless driving can include following too closely, excessive speeding, aggressive lane changes, and any other conduct that creates a high risk of an accident.
Reckless driving is considered a misdemeanor in Georgia meaning that the maximum punishment is a fine up to $1,000 or 12 months in jail or both. Also, reckless driving comes with four points added to your license. For people under the age of 21, their license will automatically be suspended, as with any other 4 or more point offense.
How Does a Case Get Reduced to Reckless Driving?
In cases where a driving offense occurred but the prosecution cannot prove that the offense occurred as a result of being under the influence (due to factual inconsistencies or through a violation of someone's rights), then the charge may be reduced to reckless driving.
However, this does not happen by itself or without a lawyer. You need an experienced Georgia DUI Attorney to formulate your defense and present it to the judge.
Getting your DUI case reduced to reckless driving saves you from having your licenses suspended and from having a DUI conviction on your criminal record. This is usually the primary goal for our clients, so they are thrilled when we get it reduced to reckless driving. However, the DUI arrest will still be on your criminal history even if it is reduced to reckless driving.
A criminal record has two parts, the arrest, and the disposition. Georgia DUI Lawyers can only have an impact on the outcome of a case.
That all being said, a Georgia DUI conviction is always worse than a reckless driving disposition. The cost of having a DUI on someone's record cannot be quantified.
Contact Us Today
When charged with a DUI, it is vital that you retain an experienced Georgia DUI Attorney. We will determine the best possible defense, including whether a reduction to reckless driving is possible. Lawson and Berry is Georgia's premier DUI defense firm with thousands of cases being successfully resolved. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.