Understanding a Reckless Driving in NY Charge | VTL 1212

Nobody likes getting pulled over by a police officer, and much less getting a NY traffic ticket for reckless driving.

In the unfortunate event that it happens, you need to know two core ideas:

  • What exactly you are being charged with
  • How it can negatively impact you

What Does “Reckless Driving” Mean?

Each state will have a slightly different reckless driving definition. According to VTL 1212, it means that you were driving in a manner that “unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public highway” or that you “unreasonably endanger[ed] users of the public highway.”

Notice how vague that sounds. Lawmakers did this intentionally to allow for a lot of different conduct to fall within the category of reckless driving. Many times, officers will issue NY reckless driving tickets for offenses that, ordinarily, stand on their own.

For example, going the wrong way down a one-way street along with speeding in NY are stand-alone offenses that carry different—and usually less severe—penalties than reckless driving. However, officers will routinely hand you a reckless driving ticket even though you should have received one of these tickets.

How can they do this? They find an “aggravating circumstance” like making a reckless lane change while speeding and trump up the charge.

With this in mind, reckless driving in New York becomes quite subjective and avoiding a conviction for it usually needs the assistance of a well-trained attorney.

How Will a Conviction For Reckless Driving in New York Negatively Affect You?

Unlike most New York traffic tickets, reckless driving is actually a crime—it counts as a misdemeanor.

Aside from a criminal record, a conviction could lead to jail time. You could face up to 30 days for a first offense, 90 days for a second offense, and 180 days for a third offense!

Many NY drivers are also unaware of the fact that a conviction could hurt your chances at getting a job. After all, the conviction will show up when a potential employer runs a background check.

You will also receive 5 points and could incur a fine of up to $300 for a conviction.

The final nail in the coffin is the astronomical insurance hike you can face.

A 2014 study by revealed that the national average insurance premium increase for a reckless driving conviction is 82%!

For reckless driving in New York, the rate calculator on reveals that your premium will likely go up by 42% for a reckless driving conviction!

Taking all of this into account, the potential consequences far outweigh the benefits of pleading guilty or taking the risk in representing yourself in court.

Be sure to hire an experienced NY traffic ticket attorney to help you with your reckless driving charge.

Who Should You Contact?

If you received a traffic ticket for driving recklessly in New York, contact The Rosenblum Law Firm today at 888-883-5529. Their experienced team of NY traffic ticket attorneys will go to bat for you and help you fight the charges you face every step of the way.

Alleged Drag Race Leads to Reckless Driving Charge Against Buffalo Bills Defensive Tackle

For the second time in one month, Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was arrested after being pulled over.

The first arrest occurred in early May, when Dareus was pulled over for speeding in Alabama and charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia after police searched his vehicle.

Then, according to a Hamburg, N.Y., police press release, on May 30 Dareus was travelling at high speeds along with another car near a local shopping mall.

Marcell Dareus
Buffalo Bills tackle Marcell Dareus who was charged with reckless driving after an alleged drag race. (Source: Wikipedia)

At some point during the alleged drag race, Dareus’s white Jaguar went off the roadway near the entrance of a Mongolian Buffet, proceeded over the grass, and then into a parking lot before striking a tree in front of the restaurant. Dareus’ car and the tree were both substantially damaged.

As a result, Dareus was arrested and charged with reckless driving, reckless endangerment, participating in an illegal speed contest—all misdemeanor crimes—along with traffic violations, according to police.

Reckless driving has become a particularly popular charge among NY police officers. Since there is no set definition of what specific behavior constitutes “reckless driving,” police tend to take an expansive view and leave it to the courts to narrow it down.

It appears, however, that if the State can prove Dareus was drag racing and he did, in fact, go off the road, onto grass, through a parking lot and into a tree, based on the cases we’ve seen in which reckless driving convictions were upheld, he is likely to be found guilty on this charge (unless, of course, he is offered and accepts a plea bargain for a lesser charge).

But we’ve had clients charged with reckless driving for much less—and have gotten their cases reduced or dismissed. In the event that you are charged with Reckless Driving in New York, contact The Rosenblum Law Firm at 1-888-815-3649 and speak to one of our experienced attorneys for a free consultation on the best way to defend you against this serious charge.

Reckless Driver Kills 4-Year and Injures Her Grandma

10th Avenue, NYC arterial road.
10th Avenue, NYC arterial road. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently, on the Upper West Side of NYC, a 4-year old girl lost her life due to the negligence of a driver trying to evade the police. The driver, who was in an SUV, was involved in a police pursuit at the time he struck the 4-year old and her grandmother. Both victims were rushed to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital.

The Times spoke with a witness who reported that an SUV “was racing north on Amsterdam Avenue with a police car in pursuit when it swerved onto the sidewalk.” According to the police, shortly before the accident, the driver of the SUV had been pulled over for reckless driving. However, as the two officers exited their patrol car to approach, the SUV sped away.

During the pursuit, the driver lost control of his vehicle and struck a building approximately 15 blocks away. As he backed up, he struck the 4-year old and her grandmother.

The driver attempted to flee the scene but was apprehended. “It was a young guy driving the car,” said Nancy Caviera who witnessed the tragedy. “The police were trying to stop him.” Another witness explained, “He sped up to get away from the police—that’s when he hit the lady and the child.” Multiple reports say both victims were pinned against a building.

Unfortunately, this horror story is not an isolated incident. The 4-year old girl who was killed in this accident was at least the fourth child under 12 to be killed by a New York City motorist in 2013.

The mother of the 4-year old girl noted, “This is so hard … The horrific nature of this accident just causes every parent to step back and think about if it was your child.”

Borough President Scott Stringer promised “some tough questions” would be asked in an investigation. “We want to know whether protocols were observed. The police are going through their own investigation,” he said.

Remember, if you find yourself being pulled over by the police, you should never—under any circumstances—attempt to outrun them. Lastly, if you happen to get into an accident, never flee the scene (no matter how scared you might be) or you might get charged with the underlying offense (e.g. Reckless Driving – VTL 1212) as well as Leaving the Scene of an Accident (VTL 600).

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Celebrity Bad Behavior Behind The Wheel

Justin Bieber at the 2010 White House Easter E...


Teenagers usually get a bad rap when it comes to some of the decisions they make behind the wheel.   Teenagers are notorious for speeding, running lights and getting distracted behind the wheel.  Recently, some of the major telephone companies like Sprint, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile all joined together to sponsor a multi-million dollar campaign to stop some of these poor choices like texting while driving. 


It’s definitely a tough task to send a message to wild teenagers behind the wheel, but how do you get across to someone who’s earned millions of dollars before he was old enough to drive?  Justin Bieber is probably the most famous teenager in the world and has a garage of cars worth a couple million dollars.  But as any other celebrity that feels they may be above the law, Mr. Bieber is going to learn real soon that even he will have be facing the weight of the law if he doesn’t clean up his act.


Earlier this week teen pop star Justin Beiber found himself in trouble with the Los Angeles Police Department after being reports surfaced that Bieber was speeding around in his white Ferrari within a gated community.   It was said that on Sunday Beiber was driving recklessly around his neighborhood at a high rate of speed and in the vicinity of children playing.  Two separate calls were placed to the LAPD, with one of the calls allegedly being placed by former football star Keyshawn Johnson.


It has also been reported that after Keyshawn Johnson witnessed Mr. Bieber’s actions that he got in his Prius and chased Bieber down to confront him about his erratic behavior behind the wheel.  Johnson’s daughter is said to have been playing in the area of where Justin was driving and the former NFL star wanted to send Justin a message to let him know that he was not cool with the way the teenager was driving around.   It is expected the Sheriff’s office will file misdemeanor charges against the pop star.  Currently the pop star is refusing to comment on the incident.


Whether you are a celebrity or not and you have a run in with the law for reckless driving (VTL 1212), call the Rosenblum Law Firm today for a free consultation.  We have helped thousands of clients just like you fight traffic violations and avoid heavy fines and increased insurance costs.


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