New London, CT – There are various types of traffic infractions that can result in citations, which include fines and the possibility of a license suspension for multiple offenses. While some people may mention careless driving or related terms in an informal sense, Connecticut does have a formal law against reckless driving and various associated penalties. Reckless drivers can face civil consequences in addition to penalties from the government. 

The reckless driving law in Connecticut

Reckless driving is considered a class D misdemeanor in the state, and not merely a civil traffic infraction. A misdemeanor is any crime that can be punished by less than one year in jail. Police officers have discretion to issue reckless driving citations when they feel that any of the following factors are present. The driver must put others on the road at a significant risk and have awareness of their behavior, they may be operating their vehicle at a speed that puts others on the road at risk of an accident, or they are driving above 85 miles per hour. 

The first offense will carry up to thirty days in jail and up to $300 worth of fines. It is also mandatory that the driver will lose their driver’s license for between thirty and ninety days. These penalties increase with subsequent later offenses, and they can also increase for reckless driving near schools or in construction zones. The driver’s insurance company will likely attempt to increase their rates, or they may drop coverage altogether after an incident of reckless driving.   

Even though the state brings criminal charges against anyone suspected of reckless driving, there is also the possibility that the suspect may end up in civil court as well. These cases will proceed through separate court systems, and the driver does not need to be convicted in criminal court to be sued. 

Evidence of traffic violations and civil lawsuits

When a driver responsible for an accident is cited for reckless driving as well, they can be sued by others involved in the crash, and evidence of their behavior may be introduced at a civil trial for damages. Traffic violations or related criminal infractions are used as evidence of negligence. This means that they are not decisive factors, but they can be considered along with the other information and evidence available by the jury. The plaintiff’s attorney must still prove that negligence occurred.  

Help after an accident in Connecticut

Holth and Kollman are experienced injury attorneys who work in the New London area. Anyone who needs help after a collision can discuss the possibility of a lawsuit and other actions with a lawyer who focuses on these issues. 

Firm contact info:

Holth & Kollman, LLC

58 Huntington Street, New London, CT 06320