Colorado Springs Careless Driving Defense Lawyers
Careless driving is defined in the Colorado Revised Statutes Section 42-4-1402. Essentially, the law states that a person who drives in a careless and imprudent manner, without due regard for the road and his or her surroundings, is guilty of careless driving. If no one is hurt or killed as a result, careless driving is a class 2 misdemeanor. When it is the proximate cause of bodily injury or death to another person, careless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor.
Penalties for careless driving will depend on what happened as a result:
- If no one was injured, conviction could mean 10 to 90 days in jail and a fine of $150 to $300.
- If another person was hurt or killed in an accident caused by careless driving, penalties may include 10 days to one year in jail and a fine of $300 to $1,000.
Careless driving and reckless driving are two separate offenses in Colorado. Reckless driving is a somewhat more serious crime, with stiffer penalties. A person who drives in a manner that indicates a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving, a class 2 misdemeanor, under C.R.S. Section 42-4-1401. A first conviction of reckless driving can carry 10 to 90 days of jail time and a fine of up to $300. A second or subsequent conviction could mean a jail sentence of not less than 10 days and up to six months and a fine of $50 to $1,000.
It is common practice for prosecutors to charge a person with both careless driving and reckless driving for a single incident. In this way, if they fail to get a conviction for reckless driving, they may still be able to convict on the lesser charge of careless driving. Other related traffic offenses are also charged alongside reckless driving, such as speeding, unsafe lane changes, failure to yield the right-of-way, and driving under the influence.
Legal defenses raised against careless driving charges will depend on the circumstances in your particular case. Possible defenses may include:
- You were not the person driving the vehicle: If you were not driving, you cannot be convicted.
- You were driving the vehicle, but you were not driving carelessly: You may argue that you were driving safely.
- Something else caused the other person’s injuries: Careless driving is a more serious offense if it results in injury to another.
Although careless driving is a traffic violation, conviction can have serious consequences. Penalties may include jail time, substantial fines, and loss of driving privileges in some cases. If you or your loved one is facing these charges, it is important to speak with an experienced Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., we take pride in fulfilling the trust our clients place in us. For more than 25 years, founding attorney Timothy R. Bussey has built a reputation as one of Colorado’s top criminal defense attorneys. He has been named among The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers, rated AV® by Martindale-Hubbell®, listed among Colorado Super Lawyers®, and rated 10.0 Superb by Avvo. If you are facing careless driving or related misdemeanor charges, call us today at (719) 475-2555 to find out how we can help.