Is a Negligent Driving Conviction Better Than a DUI Conviction?

There is no such thing as a good driving conviction, but some charges are not as bad as others. Drivers who are convicted of dangerous driving offenses rarely intend to hurt or kill people, but many people are injured or killed as a result of the negligence, recklessness, or driving while under the influence of other drivers. The penalties of dangerous driving are very serious and wide ranging for good reasons.

Negligent Driving

Licensed drivers are legally obligated to use care to avoid injuring other motorists, passengers or pedestrians. When the lack of this care causes harm, a negligent driving citation is the least consequential charge available. Cell phone use, mindless speeding and failing to yield are some good examples of negligent driving.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is driving with a willful or wanton disregard for the rules of the road and the harm it may cause. Intentionally swerving in and out of traffic, driving to elude police officers or crossing rail road tracks when a train is obviously coming are examples of reckless driving. In areas where there is a legal difference between reckless and negligent driving, reckless driving charges are more serious.

Driving Under the Influence

Drunk driving, driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated are the most serious driving offenses. This type of offense is responsible for over one third of all traffic fatalities and it is reasonable that this classification carries the most severe penalties which can include jail time.

DUI Convictions

In every state, driving under the influence or DUI is a crime. Driving under the influence means that the driver’s ability to drive is impaired by alcohol or some other substance which may or may not be legal. For alcohol, a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher is illegal, even if the impairment is not obvious.

Before a driver can be found guilty of DUI, it has to be proved that the impaired person actually steered and controlled the vehicle while it was moving. It also has to be proved that the ability to drive safely was affected by the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs.

Some DUI defendants argue that someone else was driving and the seating positions were changed before they could be observed by the police officer. Others argue that the drinking was too recent to enter the bloodstream and impair the driving, or that enough time had passed to cause the driver to become sober.

When Legal Counsel is Advisable

DUI driving charges often result in life changing penalties. There can be jail time, loss of driving privileges, or at minimum, your insurance premium will have a major increase. DUI charges cost so much money in both penalties and inconvenience that it is always advisable to get legal counsel when you are faced with such charges.

Attorneys specializing in negligent driving and DUI legal cases have valuable expertise that can help when driving citations are very serious. Most DUI attorneys offer initial consultations that are free. It is very important to have your case professionally evaluated for a possible reduction in charges before you are convicted.