Hit & Run

Hit & Run Defense Attorneys in Santa Barbara & Ventura Counties

The California Vehicle Code separates reckless driving into three levels of severity. Cal. Veh. Code § 23103 defines reckless driving as a person who drives on a highway or in a parking lot / structure with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. The punishment for this offense is a jail sentence of 5-90 days, a fine of $145 -$1,000, or both. The offense is more harshly punished, however, if bodily harm was involved.

Cal. Veh. Code § 23104 states that reckless driving resulting in injury is punishable by a jail term of 30 days to 6 months, a fine of $220 to $1,000, or both. If the person is a repeat offender, or if great bodily harm was inflicted, it is either a misdemeanor with a penalty of 30 days to 6 months in jail and / or a fine of $220 to $1,000 or it is a felony punishable by 16 months to 3 years in state prison. The types of injuries that apply are listed in § 23105 and include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Concussions
  • Broken bones
  • Disfigurement
  • Brain injury
  • Paralysis

What Are Possible Defenses for Reckless Driving Accusations?

While every case is different, there are multiple ways in which error can occur on the part of the police officer who pulled you over, the radar device they used and other outside factors. It is important that each aspect of your case be deciphered carefully to determine the legitimacy of the accusations placed against you. The following issues can arise in a reckless driving case and should be examined with careful attention to detail by your Ventura County criminal defense lawyer:

  • Accuracy of the Radar: The radar gun must be looked at and tested to make sure that it was detecting speeds accurately both before and after the law officer’s particular shift when you received your charges of reckless driving. If it proves to be an inaccurate gun, there is a good chance the evidence regarding the speed you were traveling could be dropped, significantly helping your case.
  • Calibration Issues: It is not enough for the police officer to just give an audible representation of how fast you were traveling, if the reckless driving charges were based on speeding. The prosecution must present a calibration certificate for the particular radar gun that was used. This certificate has to be an original or “true copy,” it must show that the device was tested in the last 6 months, and it must reveal who made the radar gun. Anytime that a gun does not comply with these 3 statements, it is considered to be unacceptable as evidence.
  • Range of Accuracy for Device is Off: Many times an officer’s speedometer can be off just by one to two miles per hour, which may not seem like much, but it can make all the difference in some cases. If the officer wrote down a speed on your ticket that could be over by a few miles per hour, this could be detrimental in a case. The standard for reckless driving in California is speeding at 100 mph. If you were traveling 98 mph in actuality, but the ticket says 100mph, you could be unfairly charged with reckless driving.
  • Lots of Traffic Combined with Officer Error: Many times law officers remain hidden and thousands of feet away from cars on the freeway when seeking to find those that are speeding. The problem with this is that during high levels of traffic, many cars can often travel as a group together; making it hard to tell which car is at fault for driving recklessly. One small movement from the law officer and the radar could grab a reading from the wrong care. This means that they could easily end up pulling over a car that is not at fault.
  • Proper Signage: In order to have known what the current speed limit is, there must be proper signs for you to see while on the road. These signs must be unobstructed by trees, bushes or other signs, they must be well-light and easy to locate for the common driver. It is important for those that are being charged with speeding over the limit to take pictures of the signs at the time of being pulled over. If the signs were not kept up by the city and you were unable to detect what the limit was, there is a chance that you could get your charges diminished or discharged with the appropriate legal help.

No matter how complicated or simple your reckless driving case may seem, getting in touch with Ridley Defense could be your best option. We highly recommend that you fill out our free case evaluation today so that our qualified legal team can look at the logistics of your case and determine if we can help you.

Fighting Charges for Other Aspects of Reckless Driving

At Ridley Defense we have provided defense for thousands of cases over the past 13 years. If you have been arrested for reckless driving, we may be able to help. In order for you to be convicted, it must be proven that you were willfully driving with a disregard for the safety of your passengers and anyone around you. It may be that you were not driving recklessly but were wrongfully accused of doing so. A Ventura criminal defense lawyer from our firm could investigate your case and help you obtain all necessary evidence and statements so that you and your attorney can build and present a strong defense on your behalf.

Qualified Representation

Founding Attorney Douglas H. Ridley is a seasoned criminal defense lawyer who has been honored for his ethics and reputation by the Moorpark Chamber of Commerce which awarded him their 2006 Business Person of the Year Award. As a former deputy district attorney, he also has a valuable working knowledge of your opponent’s tactics and could skillfully handle your case. Learn more today through a free consultation by completing our online evaluation form or by calling our offices to schedule an appointment. The sooner you contact us, the better we can build your case!

Call us at (805) 208-1866 today.

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