Is reckless driving considered a crime in Tennessee?

car speeding driving on the road

When a motorist operates a vehicle in a manner that they know or should reasonably know endangers those on the road yet still engages in unsafe driving practice they are considered to be driving recklessly. Reckless driving is a serious traffic offense that carries significant penalties. Many motorists are surprised to learn that reckless driving is considered a criminal offense in the state of Tennessee. As it is a criminal offense, it could ultimately lead to serious consequences such as a criminal record and jail time. In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one has been charged with reckless driving, contact a seasoned Memphis Criminal Defense Attorney who can defend your rights. In addition, please continue reading to learn about the potential penalties for this criminal offense. 

Is reckless driving a crime in Tennessee?

In some states, reckless driving is not considered a crime. However, as mentioned above, in the state of Tennessee, this unsafe driving practice is considered a crime. Reckless driving is classified as a Class B misdemeanor offense. This means that this offense could result in a criminal record. Having a criminal record can negatively impact all aspects of an individual’s life including their ability to obtain a good job and afford auto insurance. This dangerous driving behavior is considered a criminal offense because this unsafe driving practice puts those on the road in harm’s way. Unfortunately, this unsafe driving practice often results in tragic accidents.

What driving practices could result in this type of conviction?

In Tennessee, reckless driving is defined as the “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Essentially, this means a motorist is reckless driving when a motorist drives in an unsafe manner that disregards the safety of others. This type of charge could result from various unsafe driving behaviors. Some of the most common actions that constitute this type of conviction include:

  • Excessive speeding
  • Texting and driving
  • Tailgating
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Eluding the authorities
  • Failure to use headlights at night
  • Failure to obey traffic signals

What are the potential penalties?

As a misdemeanor offense, reckless driving carries harsh penalties. If a motorist is charged with reckless driving, they will be subject to 5 points added to their driving record. In addition, they will receive fines of up to $500, and up to 6 months in jail. Any further convictions will result in even more severe penalties. Having points applied to a standard driver’s license can eventually result in the loss of driving privileges if a motorist accumulates a certain amount of points.

To prevent these harsh penalties, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our skilled and determined attorneys. With years of experience, we can represent your interests in court to seek a favorable conclusion. This unsafe driving practice is a serious criminal offense that carries long-lasting negative repercussions. Allow our firm to fight on your behalf today.