What are the differences between a DUI and a reckless driving charge in New Jersey?

In the state of New Jersey, driving while under the influence (DUI) and reckless driving are two extremely serious traffic violations that carry significant penalties. Understandably, it can be quite difficult to understand the differences between a DUI and a reckless driving charge as they share some similarities. However, there are several differences between these two traffic offenses. It is pertinent to note that a motorist who is charged with DUI can also face a reckless driving offense. Essentially, this is because of the risk they pose on the road to others. If you have been charged with driving while under the influence or reckless driving, contact one of our trusted Bergen County DUI Attorneys who can help defend your rights in court. In addition, please continue reading to learn about the critical differences between DUI and reckless driving convictions. 

What is the difference between a DUI and a reckless driving conviction in New Jersey?

Under New Jersey law, a motorist is considered to be driving while under the influence if they operate a vehicle while they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or greater. In addition, the law defines reckless driving as ” driving a vehicle heedlessly, in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others, in a manner to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property.” As mentioned above, although these are two different traffic violations, a motorist can be convicted of both offenses. Despite some similarities, DUI and reckless driving convictions have several distinctions. For starters, DUI convictions carry harsher penalties. Reckless driving charges are often less severe. In addition, driving while under the influence convictions carry a negative stigma and can haunt a motorist’s driving record. Having a DUI conviction on a criminal record can negatively affect an individual’s ability to obtain a good job. Driving while under the influence will also cause auto insurance rates to increase dramatically. Ultimately, there is less stigma surrounding reckless driving convictions. If a motorist is convicted of DUI their standard license will automatically be suspended for some time. However, with a reckless driving charge, a motorist does not automatically lose their driving privileges. Furthermore, in some states, driving while under the influence charges can be reduced to a reckless driver’s charge depending on the severity and circumstances of the offense. However, in New Jersey, this is typically not permitted. Despite there being some similarities between these two offenses, they are different. Nevertheless, they both are serious traffic offenses that carry severe penalties for violating the law.

In the unfortunate event that you are charged with DUI, reckless driving, or both, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our seasoned attorneys. With years of experience, we can fight on your behalf to prevent the harsh penalties associated with these serious traffic violations. Our firm is committed to defending our client’s rights and interests to seek a favorable outcome.