Some traffic tickets are more serious than others. One example is reckless driving, which is a Class B misdemeanor in Tennessee.
A traffic offense such as speeding carries consequences such as points on your driving record, which could ultimately lead to higher insurance rates and suspension of your driver's license. However, speeding is not a criminal offense. This means you do not face consequences such as jail time.
A misdemeanor is a criminal offense. For reckless driving, you face up to six months in jail and a permanent criminal record. Whenever you face criminal charges, it's important to seek legal advice from an experienced defense lawyer. No one would want to have a criminal record if they could avoid it.
In Tennessee, reckless driving is defines as driving a vehicle in "willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property." Police have a great deal of discretion in deciding whether to charge a motorist with reckless driving or a lesser offense. For example, one police officer may charge a driver with reckless driving for driving 55 miles an hour on a street with a posted speed limit of 30. Another police officer may charge the driver with speeding under the same circumstances. Factors such as the weather and visibility can enter into the officer's judgment.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be possible for a defense lawyer to resolve a reckless driving ticket by pleading guilty to a lesser offense, such as speeding. The law firm of Hindman & Associates defends clients in the Knoxville area who are charged with criminal traffic offenses such as reckless driving, driving under the influence, vehicular assault and vehicular homicide.