What is Reckless Driving? (CVC 23103)

In California, under California Vehicle Code Section 23103, “a person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving,” which is a misdemeanor. (If you injure someone, or evade the police, you could be charged with a felony).

A conviction for CVC 23103 can result in imprisonment in a county jail for up to 90 days and/or a fine of up to $1,000. These penalties can increase if you have a prior convictions for reckless driving under 23103, or other convictions on your driving record.

A reckless driving conviction will add two points to your driving record, which can lead to a suspension of your license, as four points in one year results in an automatic suspension from the California DMV. Points on your driving record will also increase your auto insurance costs.

The typical kinds of situations that lead to a reckless driving arrest under VC23103 are: driving at high rates of speed, weaving in and out of traffic lanes, racing other vehicles, drifting, peeling out, and other alleged traffic violations. Sometimes, a reckless driving charge comes along with other serious criminal charges due to same incident, including DUI, hit and run, evasion and street racing.

It is important to know your rights when you are arrested for reckless driving. An arrest under CVC 23103 is a serious charge that can result in jail time, deportation, loss of drivers license, loss of professional license, heavy fines, probation and other penalties. Fortunately, a strong attorney can make all the difference.

These cases can often be fought and won–in addition judges generally do not like to take reckless driving cases to trial–so a favorable outcome may be possible, pre-trial. In some cases we have been able to get reckless driving charges reduced to simple traffic violations.

If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.