Reckless operation is a criminal offense in Massachusetts. Reckless operation means that you operated a motor vehicle on a public way in a reckless manner. If you have been given a citation for reckless operation you need to call Attorney Patrick Donovan. These are the elements the district attorney must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, in order for you to be convicted. It is not enough to show that you were merely negligent in your driving, but rather that you knew, should have known, or were indifferent to the fact that the manner in which you were driving was likely to result in death or serious harm to another person.
What is Reckless Operation in Massachusetts?
Although a charge of reckless operation is usually accompanied by a car accident or an OUI charge, neither of these has to occur in for you to be found guilty of reckless driving. It can merely be based on an observation of your operation. That is, no accident or close encounter of serious harm actually needs to occur. No other cars or people need even be on the same road or the general vicinity. Additionally, even if you were involved in an accident, that fact alone does not prove that your driving amounted to recklessness. However it is one of the factors the court considers, along with the rate of speed and manner in which you were traveling, the physical condition of you and your vehicle, the type of road on which you were driving and the circumstances surrounding it (i.e., who else was on the road, what was going on, what the weather was like, what time of day it was, your visibility), and how much potential risk you posed to the public. There are a number of behaviorisms that could have called attention to your driving that would alert a police officer that you were driving recklessly, including speeding at an extremely high rate, following too closely, cutting other drivers off or weaving in and out of the lanes.
Reckless Operation Defenses
One potential defense to a charge of reckless operation is that there was some sort of emergency that required you to drive in that particular manner. Whether or not this defense stands depends on an evaluation of whether or not a reasonable person would have acted in that way in light of your emergency. However, a more common approach to defense would be to argue that your driving did not amount to recklessness. Your driving record and criminal history are also relevant in considering how your case will be handled.
Reckless Operation Penalties
If you were to be convicted of reckless operation, you could face up to $200 in fines and/or up to 2 years of imprisonment. Additionally, you would be subject to a minimum license suspension of 60 days.
Massachusetts Reckless Operation Attorney
If you have received a violation for reckless operation, it is important that you contact an experienced motor vehicle criminal attorney. Attorney Patrick Donovan is a former prosecutor who has represented many clients Hiring an attorney before you even appear at the clerk’s hearing is the best way to try to take care of your case before it even reaches your criminal record. However, even if a criminal complaint has already been issued against you, it i imperative that you seek legal counsel immediately.