North Carolina traffic laws apply to everything from how you pass another vehicle to the speed at which you travel. The most serious traffic offenses, like drunk driving, result in criminal charges rather than just a ticket.
Reckless driving is a Class 2 misdemeanor offense, which means that you could end up with a criminal record just because of a traffic issue. What kinds of driving behaviors might lead to reckless driving allegations in North Carolina?
Police officers play a big role in reckless driving allegations
In some states, there are specific behaviors, like a certain level of access speed onto a highway or racing on the street, that constitute reckless driving. In North Carolina, the law is more interpretive.
When a police officer sees someone and believes that their behavior at the wheel shows a wanton disregard for the safety of others, that officer can arrest that person for reckless driving. The citation issued depends completely on the officer’s belief that the driver’s actions were unsafe and the driver was knowingly and intentionally behaving in a way that endangered others.
The officer’s version of events and the footage that they may have from their dashboard camera could play a significant role in the state prosecution of reckless driving cases. Those who want to defend against reckless driving charges may need to provide an alternate explanation for the situation or challenge the police officer’s version of events. Showing that there was a reason for certain behavior, like trying to transport a passenger bleeding due to an injury, could lead to a successful defense.
Learning more about the most serious traffic violations can help you decide whether to fight back after a traffic stop.