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What Is A Reckless Driving Charge In Arizona?

Reckless driving in Arizona is considered as one of the more serious misdemeanor offenses. The crime is codified in section 28-693 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, and it can either be a class 1 or class 2 misdemeanor.

When someone is charged with a first time reckless driving offense, they are facing a class 2 misdemeanor, which has a maximum penalty of four months in jail and $750 fine under the statute. The offender may also be facing additional consequences such as points on their driver’s license. Reckless driving is considered a serious moving violation and places 8 points on the person’s driver’s license. The person is also required to complete Traffic Survival School.

A.R.S. 28-693 states the following regarding the crime of Reckless driving:

A person who drives a vehicle in a reckless manner, with complete disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.

A person who is convicted of a reckless driving charge is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.

If someone is convicted of reckless driving, the judge may require them to surrender any driving license to a police officer and report the conviction to the department. The driving privileges of the convicted may even be suspended for a maximum period of 90 days. Once the abstract of conviction and order is received, the driving privilege of the person shall be suspended for the period of time ordered by the judge.

Anyone convicted of a violation of section 28-693, who has a previous conviction of a violation of section 28-693, , section 13-1102, or section 13-1103, subsection A, paragraph 1 in the driving of a vehicle, or section 28-708, 28-1381, 28-1382 or 28-1383 within a period of twenty-four months, then the following will apply:

  • The person will be considered guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor.
  • The person will not be eligible for a probation, pardon, suspension, or a release on any basis unless they have served at least 20 days in jail.
  • The person will be required to surrender any driver license to a police officer and immediately forward the abstract of conviction to the department.
  • Once the abstract of conviction is received, the department shall revoke the driving privilege of the person.

The determining factor in applying subsection D of section 28-693 will depend on the dates of commission of the offense. A second or subsequent violation for which a conviction occurs as provided in section 28-693 does not include a conviction for an offense arising out of the same series of acts.

If the court receives confirmation after the pronouncement of a jail sentence that the person is employed or is a student, the court may allow the defendant to continue employment or schooling for a maximum of 5 days a week, maximum of 12 hours per day. The defendant will have to serve the remaining time of the day in jail until the sentence is served. The defendant will only be allowed to go out of jail long enough to complete their actual hours of employment or schooling.

So the crime of reckless driving in Arizona carries heavy consequences and can include fines, jail time, as well as driver’s license suspension. However, the jail sentence is merely discretionary in a reckless driving charge, unlike in a DUI conviction, which means that a person convicted of reckless driving in Arizona will not have to serve time in jail necessarily.


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