RECKLESS DRIVING IN GENERAL

CHP ALWAYS ON PATROLReckless driving, unlike speeding and red light violations, is a misdemeanor and some times a felony offense depending on whether or not an injury occurred. This means that the driver can face jail time rather thana mere fine if convicted. It also means, however, that the driver is entitled to a jury trial before a judge. The same procedure applies to a charge of reckless driving as would apply in any other misdemeanor or felony charge. These are not light accusations and you should take every legal step to protect yourself from a conviction. A conviction can cause you to serve jail, will cost you "and arm and a leg" in insurance rates and fines! Any conviction of a reckless driving charge will also place two points on your driving record which will remain there for a period of seven years.

VC 23103.

(a) A person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willfulor wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guiltyof reckless driving.

(b) A person who drives a vehicle in an offstreet parkingfacility, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 12500, in willfulor wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guiltyof reckless driving.

(c) Persons convicted of the offense of reckless driving shall bepunished by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than five daysnor more than 90 days or by a fine of not less than one hundredforty-five dollars ($145) nor more than one thousand dollars($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, except as provided

in Section 23104 or 23105.

VC 23103.5.

(a) If the prosecution agrees to a plea of guilty or nolocontendere to a charge of a violation of Section 23103 in satisfaction of, or as a substitute for, an original charge of aviolation of Section 23152, the prosecution shall state for therecord a factual basis for the satisfaction or substitution,including whether or not there had been consumption of an alcoholicbeverage or ingestion or administration of a drug, or both, by thedefendant in connection with the offense. The statement shall setforth the facts that show whether or not there was a consumption ofan alcoholic beverage or the ingestion or administration of a drug bythe defendant in connection with the offense.

(b) The court shall advise the defendant, prior to the acceptanceof the plea offered pursuant to a factual statement pursuant tosubdivision (a), of the consequences of a conviction of a violationof Section 23103 as set forth in subdivision (c).

(c) If the court accepts the defendant's plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a charge of a violation of Section 23103 and theprosecutor's statement under subdivision (a) states that there wasconsumption of an alcoholic beverage or the ingestion oradministration of a drug by the defendant in connection with theoffense, the resulting conviction shall be a prior offense for thepurposes of Section 23540, 23546, 23550, 23560, 23566, or 23622, asspecified in those sections.

(d) The court shall notify the Department of Motor Vehicles ofeach conviction of Section 23103 that is required under this sectionto be a prior offense for purposes of Section 23540, 23546, 23550,23560, 23566, or 23622.

(e) Except as provided in paragraph (1) of subdivision (f), if thecourt places the defendant on probation for a conviction of Section23103 that is required under this section to be a prior offense forpurposes of Section 23540, 23546, 23550, 23560, 23566, or 23622, thecourt shall order the defendant to enroll in an alcohol and drugeducation program licensed under Chapter 9 (commencing with Section11836) of Part 2 of Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code andcomplete, at a minimum, the educational component of that program, asa condition of probation. If compelling circumstances exist thatmitigate against including the education component in the order, thecourt may make an affirmative finding to that effect. The court shallstate the compelling circumstances and the affirmative finding onthe record, and may, in these cases, exclude the educationalcomponent from the order.

(f) (1) If the court places on probation a defendant convicted ofa violation of Section 23103 that is required under this section tobe a prior offense for purposes of Section 23540, 23546, 23550,23560, 23566, or 23622, and that offense occurred within 10 years ofa separate conviction of a violation of Section 23103, as specifiedin this section, or within 10 years of a conviction of a violation ofSection 23152 or 23153, the court shall order the defendant toparticipate for nine months or longer, as ordered by the court, in aprogram licensed under Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 11836) ofPart 2 of Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code that consistsof at least 60 hours of program activities, including education,group counseling, and individual interview sessions.(2) The court shall revoke the person's probation, except for goodcause shown, for the failure to enroll in, participate in, orcomplete a program specified in paragraph (1).(g) The Department of Motor Vehicles shall include in its annualreport to the Legislature under Section 1821 an evaluation of theeffectiveness of the programs described in subdivisions (e) and (f)as to treating persons convicted of violating Section 23103.

VC 23104.

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), whenever reckless driving of a vehicle proximately causes bodily injury to a person other than the driver, the person driving the vehicle shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 30 days nor more than six months or by a fine of not less than two hundred twenty dollars ($220) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.

(b) A person convicted of reckless driving that proximately causes great bodily injury, as defined in Section 12022.7 of the Penal Code, to a person other than the driver, who previously has been convicted of a violation of Section 23103, 23104, 23105, 23109, 23109.1, 23152, or 23153, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison, by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 30 days nor more than six months or by a fine of not less than two hundred twenty dollars ($220) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by both the fine and imprisonment.

VC 23105

(a) A person convicted of reckless driving in violation of Section 23103 that proximately causes one or more of the injuries specified in subdivision (b) to a person other than the driver, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison, or by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than 30 days nor more than six months, or by a fine of not less than two hundred twenty dollars ($220) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.

(b) This section applies to all of the following injuries:

(1) A loss of consciousness.

(2) A concussion.

(3) A bone fracture.

(4) A protracted loss or impairment of function of a bodily member or organ.

(5) A wound requiring extensive suturing.

(6) A serious disfigurement.

(7) Brain injury.

(8) Paralysis.

(c) This section does not preclude or prohibit prosecution under any other provision of law.