NYC Traffic Tickets: Reckless Driving

Reckless Driving Ticket in New York

A reckless driving ticket is one of the most serious tickets you can receive in New York.  Reckless driving is defined by New York law as “using any motor vehicle… in a manner which unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public highway, or unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public highway, or unreasonably endangers users of public highway,” and the court or judge who hears the case.  This leaves reckless driving open to interpretation by the police officer writing the ticket.  Some examples are: driving the wrong way, driving at extremely high speeds, or weaving in and out of lanes during times of heavy traffic.


Conviction of a reckless driving ticket in New York will result in five (5) points.  Many drivers also fail to realize that a reckless driving charge is actually a misdemeanor offense.  This means that a motorist charged with reckless driving cannot simply plead guilty and pay the fine, but an appearance must be made in criminal court.  If convicted of reckless driving the motorist will then have a criminal record.

Depending on the severity of the offense, you could go to jail for up to 30 days for a first offense, 90 days for a second offense, and 180 days for a third offense.

It’s important to note that if you accumulate 11 points in 18 months your driving privileges may be suspended.  In addition, if you receive another traffic ticket in conjunction with the one for reckless driving in NY and a total of six (6) or more points would go on your record, you will be required to pay a “Driver Assessment Fee” to the DMV.  That amounts to $300 for six (6) points and an additional $75 for every point above six (6).

Financial Impact

A reckless driving conviction will put 5 points on your driver’s license and will incur a fine of up to $300.  Reckless driving charges can also have a serious impact on your auto insurance premiums.  Insurance companies often view reckless driving convictions as being just as bad as DUI or DWI convictions, and will raise your premiums accordingly.  So, in addition to paying the reckless driving fine and the possibility of the NYS Driver Responsibility Assessment, you could also be forced to pay a lot of extra money just to be able to continue driving. An attorney with experience defending reckless driving charge may be able to help you save your hard earned money instead of handing it over to your insurance company.

By working with an attorney with experience defending reckless driving tickets may keep your driving and criminal record clean.  In addition, a lawyer can also appear in court without you, to defend you against reckless driving charges.  If you have received a reckless driving ticket, or any other traffic ticket, please contact our office at 212-227-9008 or email us at to see how we can help you.