Reckless driving is a criminal offense that may be charged independently from a DUI/DWI. Sometimes sober drivers act dangerously on the road and can be charged with reckless driving. Conversely, a drunk driver on the road may be caught for driving while intoxicated, but may not have been driving in a specifically reckless way. In this case the individual may only be arrested for a DUI. In some cases however, an individual may drive drunk while also engaging in reckless driving activity, such as tailgating, weaving through traffic, or drag racing.
Anyone who drives recklessly while inebriated may be charged with both DUI and reckless driving. The penalties for two combined charges are typically much more severe than if the driver were charged for just one offense. DUI and reckless driving are both misdemeanor crimes for a first offense, which can carry up to 6 months in jail and up to a $1000 fine. If you are convicted on both counts, your jail sentence and fine amount could essentially be doubled.
Some prosecutors may try to push for a heavier sentence against a defendant by trying to get him or her convicted of multiple charges. It is important for the defendant to know that these charges are treated independently, and being arrested on multiple counts does not mean that you will necessarily be convicted of them all. An experienced DUI defense lawyer understands what evidence the court requires for an individual to be convicted for both DUI and reckless driving. A good attorney will scrutinize all evidence brought against you and question the validity of each charge to ensure that you receive a fair trial. If the prosecution cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt that you committed each crime, your charges may be reduced or dropped altogether.
For sound legal advice and assistance with preparing your defense, contact Rhode Island DUI lawyer Matthew Marin today at 401-287-4384.