Maine Driving to Endanger Defense Attorney
Experienced Attorneys Serving Portland, Augusta, Bangor, Saco and Biddeford
When you are accused of committing a driving offense but you were not intoxicated and did not cause a loss of life, you may be charged with driving to endanger. This is a very broad law that leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Because of this, there are many circumstances that can lead to a charge for driving to endanger. Under Title 29-A §2413: Driving to endanger is defined as the following:
1. Definition. A person commits a Class E crime if, with criminal negligence as defined in Title 17-A, that person drives a motor vehicle in any place in a manner that endangers the property of another or a person, including the operator or passenger in the motor vehicle being driven.
Basically, any driving offense that is extreme can lead to a driving to endanger charge. If police believe that your actions deserve beyond a simple traffic ticket, you could face these charges. No accident or property damage has to have occurred either; reckless driving implies that something could have easily happened. Some examples include:
Driving under the influence
Using a cell phone or texting while driving
Swerving in between lanes
Disobeying street signs
This is only a sample of what can lead to a reckless charge. If an accident is caused due to your reckless driving and someone is badly hurt, you can face additional charges for an aggravated offense. Aggravated driving to endanger is much more serious and is treated as a Class C crime.
Wet Reckless OUI Offenses
common strategy OUI lawyers use to help their clients get great results is working with the prosecution to get their client's charges reduced or dismissed. In some cases, your attorney can get your DUI charges reduced to a reckless driving charge. Reckless driving is still a serious offense but does not carry with it the penalties that a DUI does.
When the prosecution sees that you have a good defense, they are more likely to believe that you may be found ‘not guilty' in court. As a result, they will make an offer to your attorney to give you a reduced charge in exchange for you to plead guilty and avoid going to trial. This is a mutually beneficial practice and is called a plea bargain.
This practice is quite common in many counties. So much so, that people often refer to a reckless driving charge that involves alcohol as a "wet reckless”.
Reckless Driving Penalties
Though it is only a Class E offense, driving to endanger can leave a blemish on your driving record and can count towards habitual violator status which will lead to license revocation after 3 driving offense in 5 years.
The penalties for reckless driving are not as severe as DUI convictions but can still lead to serious consequences. One common reckless driving penalty affects your driver's license:
2. Penalties. In addition to any other penalty, the court shall suspend the driver's license of a person convicted under subsection 1 for not less than 30 days nor more than 180 days, which minimum may not be suspended. In addition to any other penalty, the court shall suspend the driver's license of a person convicted under subsection 1-A for not less than 180 days nor more than 2 years, which minimum may not be suspended. If the court fails to suspend the license, the Secretary of State shall impose the minimum period of suspension. The court shall impose a sentencing alternative that involves a fine of not less than $575, which may not be suspended.
In addition, if you are convicted of an aggravated driving to endanger offense in which people are serious injured, you will face additional penalties:
Up to five years of incarnation and/or
Up to $5,000 in fines
Driving to Endanger Defense
There are a number of defenses an experienced defense attorney can use to defend a reckless driving charge. Many drivers with clean records are able to avoid conviction by plead no contest and reckless charges in exchange for a guilty plea will come with a pre-agreed upon sentence. For others who are looking to fight the charges they face, an attorney from our firm can help you find the best option for your case. Though the circumstance of every case are different, some defense strategies include the following:
- No property damage or injuries were caused
- Driver was not informed of his/her rights
- Contested blood or breath test results
- Road conditions required adapted driving
If you have been charged with a DUI in Maine, call our office right away. Our lawyers will go over your entire case to find the best defense strategy. Whether you have been charged with reckless driving or an OUI and are looking to get your charges reduced, we can help you. Call us now to get started.