Is Reckless Driving Considered A Crime In New Jersey?

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Reckless driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in the United States. Because of this unfortunate statistic, our state takes unsafe driving practices quite seriously. Have you recently been caught practicing dangerous driving habits? You might be wondering if reckless driving is considered a crime in New Jersey. No need to worry because our knowledgeable law firm has all the answers you’ll need! To find out more about this offense, continue reading this blog or reach out to a Mercer County Criminal Defense Lawyer today for individualized legal counseling.


No, reckless driving is technically not a crime in our state; it’s considered a traffic offense. However, reckless driving is a major traffic offense that includes similar consequences to criminal offenses. These unsafe practices lead to hundreds of thousands of preventable car accidents per year, so this offense is not taken lightly in New Jersey courts.


  • Excessive speeding
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Driving under the influence of legal drugs, illegal drugs, or alcohol
  • Driving too fast based on the current conditions of the road
  • Excessive lane changing
  • Failure to use signals
  • Tailgating
  • Texting and driving
  • Failure to fully stop at a stop sign
  • Running a red light
  • Improper passing, such as weaving in and out of traffic
  • Negligent use of a shoulder


The penalties you receive after a reckless driving conviction could depend on your driving/criminal history and the circumstances of your arrest.

First-time offenders might face:

  • Up to 60 days in jail
  • Between $50 and $200 in fines
  • $33 court fee
  • Five motor vehicle points on your driver’s license
  • Driver’s license suspension

Second-time offenders might face:

  • Up to 90 days in jail
  • Between $100 and $500 in fines
  • $33 court fee
  • Five motor vehicle points on your driver’s license
  • Driver’s license suspension

There are other consequences you could face. For example, your auto insurance rates will most likely increase, which could be pretty costly. Your annual payments could increase by 50%.  It’s also important to note that if you attain six or more points on your driver’s license, you’ll need to pay a state surcharge. It’s $150 for the first six points and $25 per point after that. Points stay on your license indefinitely unless you stay violation-free for a year and take driving courses approved by New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission.

If you’ve recently been charged with reckless driving in New Jersey, you deserve a dedicated defense attorney who has your best interests in mind. Thankfully, the Law Office of Douglas Herring is here to fight for you! Contact our highly experienced legal team today for an initial consultation.

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