Cobb County Reckless Driving Lawyer
O.C.G.A. §40-6-350, the reckless driving law, could be a standalone offense. Authorities often press reckless driving charges if the defendant committed more than one traffic violation, like speeding through a red light, at about the same time. A conviction for this misdemeanor adds a whopping four points to a drivers’ license. The law also includes mandatory drivers’ license suspension, if the defendant is under 21.
In some jurisdictions, reckless driving is a DUI fallback. If the DUI evidence is weak, prosecutors might agree to reduce the charges to reckless driving. O.C.G.A. §40-6-350, like a first or second DUI, is a misdemeanor. However, reckless driving does not have the same collateral consequences as DUI.
Andrew Schwartz, an experienced Cobb County reckless driving lawyer, does not contest reckless driving charges if the charge is part of a DUI plea bargain. In standalone cases, however, he and his team know how to take on reckless driving charges and beat them in court. If the evidence is weak, as outlined below, a change reduction to something like ordinary speeding might be available.
The stated prohibition “any person drives any vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property,” could apply to almost any driving mistake. Since the law is so vague, profiling and expert testimony are two of the most important tools in a Cobb County reckless driving lawyer’s toolbox.
In this context, profiling is treating different drivers differently. Assume Peter, Paul, and Mary all accelerate through a traffic light that’s just turned from yellow to red. Officers pull over Mary but let Peter and Paul go. The Constitution, mostly in the Fourteenth Amendment, states that the law must apply equally to everyone. Therefore, officers cannot single out Mary.
Furthermore, reckless driving is extremely vague, as stated in the statute. Arguably, drivers who fiddle with the air conditioner or argue with passengers drive “in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Officers often do not cite these drivers, and they certainly do not issue reckless driving citations in these cases.
Frequently, an attorney partners with a traffic expert in these situations. A well-qualified expert usually has a much more compelling view of what’s “reckless” under the circumstances.
Almost all traffic ticket prosecutions are single-witness cases. A police officer saw a motorist commit a traffic violation and the officer wrote a ticket.
In contrast, many reckless driving prosecutions are multiple witness cases. A black SUV cuts Mike off in traffic, he calls 9-1-1, reports the vehicle along with a partial plate number, and officers pull over a black SUV several miles down the road.
Thousands of black SUVs, most of which have similar license plate numbers, roam the streets of Cobb County. The driver that officers arrested might or might not be the same driver who cut Mike off in traffic.
Additionally, Mike may not be a very convincing witness. Chances are, he’s never testified in court before. His story could easily fall apart under aggressive cross-examination.
Finally, tipsters often don’t leave their names in these situations. If so, a judge might rule that the tip was unreliable and therefore inadmissible in court. If the tipster was not willing to vouch for the information provided, there is no reason a court should give the information additional weight.
Count on a Dedicated Cobb County Lawyer
Criminal cases have procedural and substantive defenses. For a free consultation with an experienced reckless driving lawyer in Cobb County, contact Andrew L. Schwartz, P.C. Virtual, home, and jail visits are available.