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Reckless Driving in New York – a Criminal Offense

According to New York Vehicle & Traffic Law Section 1212,  Reckless Driving is more than a mere traffic infraction, it is a misdemeanor offense. If an individual is convicted of Reckless Driving it will go on his/her criminal record.

Reckless Driving is defined as “driving or using any motor vehicle … in a manner which unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public highway, or unreasonably endangers users of the public highway.”

An individual can be pulled over if he/she drives in a way that unreasonably interferes with the use of the road OR he/she drives in a way that endangers users of the road.

Specific actions that have supported a conviction for Reckless Driving include excessive speed, speeding and traveling in the wrong lane, speeding and driving off the road, speeding and failing to yield to pedestrians, driving across a median of a road and running through a police barricade. This list is not exclusive and because Reckless Driving is defined so broadly many different actions may qualify and courts largely deal with it on a case by case basis.

The penalties for a Reckless Driving conviction increase with multiple convictions. For a first offense the fine ranges from $100-$300 and the individual faces up to 30 days in jail. For a second conviction within an 18 month period the fine ranges from $100-$525 and the individual faces up to 90 days in jail. For a third conviction within an 18 month period the fine ranges from $100 to $1,125 and the individual faces up to 180 days in jail.

Additionally a Reckless Driving conviction will put 5 points on your New York State license. If an individual has 6 or more points on his/her license during an 18 month period, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles will assess civil penalties called a Driver Responsibility Assessment, the annual assessment is $100 and the total assessment for the three years is $300. If an individual receives more than 6 points on his/her driver record during an 18 month period, the annual assessment is $25 for each point in addition to the original 6 points. The total assessment for the three years is $75 for each point in addition to the original 6 points. If an individual receives 11 or more points on his/her driving record in an 18 month period all driving privileges are suspended.

A Reckless Driving conviction may also result in a separate hearing at which an individual’s license can be suspended or revoked. It is also considered a “serious driving offense” in terms of an individual’s lifetime driving record. Commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders may also lose their privilege to drive commercial vehicles with such a conviction.

Important Information

COVID-19 (Novel Corona Virus)  Update 3-20-2020

By order of Governor Andrew Cuomo, beginning 3-22-2020, all non-essential business in New York state must close their physical offices in response to the rapid rate of positive reported cases of COVID-19 in New York State.

Although this will impact the in office and in person services that LIT can provide, we will still be working remotely from our homes to serve our existing clients and we will continue to serve the public on a remote basis with any new legal matters for which they may need assistance.

We as a nation have overcome great obstacles in the past and although the challenges that lie ahead of us as community, as a state, and as a nation are great, we will overcome them as our resilience as individuals, as a community and as a nation will allow us to prevail.

May all of you and your loved ones be safe and well .

Larkin, Ingrassia & Tepermayster, LLP


Should you have any questions please feel free to contact us at 845-566-5345

For more information regarding the COVID-19 virus please visit any of the following sites:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

NYS Department of Health

Orange County Dept. of Health

Ulster County Dept. of Health

For information and updates regarding court postponements or closings please visit:

NYS Unified Court System

9th Judicial District

3rd Judicial District