In Oregon, there are two charges: reckless driving and careless driving. Each have different penalties but have similar definitions.

  • Careless Driving: When a person is driving a vehicle on a highway in a way that causes danger or could cause danger to other people or vehicles. If an accident occurs, a careless driving charge could result in a Class A traffic violation and fines between $220 and $2,000. Typically, a fine is issued between $130 and $1,000 — a suspension of a driver’s license is rare.
  • Reckless Driving: The word reckless is the primary difference. “Reckless” means that someone knowingly acts recklessly despite being aware that significant risk of danger and/or harm could be caused to people and/or vehicles. This offense is considered a Class A misdemeanor and could result in probation or jail. If convicted of reckless driving, the driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days or more.

Examples of reckless driving include:

  • When driving above the speed limit under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be charged with reckless driving
  • When driving above the speed limit under the influence of drugs or alcohol and there was a child in the vehicle
  • Another driver, passenger, or even a pedestrian saw reckless driving and reported it to the authorities
  • Tailgating
  • Illegal passing
  • Racing other vehicles
  • Driving 25 miles an hour or more above the speed limit
  • Driving a vehicle knowing that brakes are faulty

The criminal attorneys at Donahue Law Firm understand that driving on highways can be stressful and everyone reacts differently under these situations. We know that courts take a variety of factors into consideration, including the weather, the time of day, and whether other people were present or not. With this knowledge, we will fight hard for your case. Get in touch with our lawyers in Bend, OR today.