"Reckless Driving, N.J.S.A. 39:4-96"

Reckless driving N.J.S.A. 39:4-96 is a very serious violation because the range of penalties are higher than most other moving violations.

It is routinely charged as a companion to excessive speeding or drunk driving charges - especially in municipalities like Monroe, South Brunswick, Woodbridge, East Brunswick or Edison, New Jersey.


This violation carries with it five motor vehicle and five insurance points, up to $200 fine or up to 60 days in jail for first offense and up to three months in jail for a second or subsequent offense.

Although license suspension is not required following a reckless driving conviction, the courts may at their discretion suspend a driver's license for an indefinite period of time.

State Must Prove:

To obtain a conviction the state must prove the following:

1. A person who drives;

2. a vehicle;

3. heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard for the rights or safety of others - driver must be consciously aware that his actions pose risk to the public;

4. in a manner that endangers or likely to endanger;

5. a person or property.

The difference between this violation and careless driving is that with this violation a person "knowingly" or "purposely" endangers himself and others on the road while a careless driver is merely negligent without any bad intent.

This distinction makes this offense more criminal in nature than a careless driving ticket.

Hence, the penalties for this offense are much greater than for careless driving and with the help of a NJ Traffic lawyer are to be avoided at all costs.

Strategy In Court

NJ Traffic attorney attempts an alternative plea to obstructing traffic N.J.S.A 39:4-67.

If the prosecutor does not grant that request then unsafe driving N.J.S.A 39:4-97.2 should be considered, although it should be noted that unsafe driving carries an approximate fine of $400.

Additionally, four points are assessed on one's driving record for a third unsafe driving conviction within five years of a second unsafe driving conviction.

Even a downgrade to careless driving N.J.S.A 39:4-97 or improper passing N.J.S.A. 39:4-85 are preferable to a conviction under this statute.

If you have any other questions about a reckless driving charge, click here to contact a New Jersey Traffic Lawyer.