“Reckless Operation” can be charged when someone is driving over 100 miles per hour, racing on the highways or when the driving endangers the lives or safety of the public. Most often it is this last section of the law that is used by the police in charging the driver. For example, the local police will often charge drivers for driving only 5 or 10 miles in excess of the speed limit if the driving is in the compact downtown area around lots of pedestrians. Another common charge is an unsafe passing or lane change. Any motor vehicle infraction that the police officer believes has endangered the public can result in a “Reckless Operation” charge.
"Reckless Operation" or Reckless Driving is considered a major motor vehicle infraction. If you are convicted, the penalty is a mandatory minimum fine of $500.00 and can go up to a $1,000.00 and a mandatory 60 day loss of driving privileges. After conviction, the offense is reported to the Division of Motor Vehicles and it is considered a 6 point offense in NH. The New Hampshire DMV calculates points per infraction in order to determine if an administrative license suspension is required (often in addition to a court imposed suspension). For example, someone under the age of 21 who acquires 9 points in one calendar year, based on the date of infraction, is subject to an administrative suspension of up to 3 months. Someone over 21 who has 12 points in one year is also subject to a potential 3 month administrative suspension. (For a listing of points and suspensions you can go to the DMV website)
A conviction for “Reckless Operation” can have an impact of your driving record and increase your insurance rates substantially. Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Joanne M. Stella for a free consultation.