Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving All Areas of Louisiana


Reckless Driving Vs Negligent Driving

Reckless driving vs. negligent driving: Do you want to know the difference between the two? Read on to learn everything!

reckless driving vs negligent driving
reckless driving vs negligent driving

Reckless Driving Vs. Negligent Driving

Wondering about reckless driving vs. negligent driving? This post will give you all the info you need to know.

The difference between reckless driving, also known as reckless operation, and negligent driving, usually referred to as careless operation, is marginal. However, there are enough differences that they must be separated.

Let’s discuss the main contrasts between the two and what you should do if you ever find yourself charged in Louisiana with one of these violations. 

PRO TIP: If you are charged in Louisiana with either reckless driving or negligent driving, be sure to hire a criminal defense attorney. These cases often come with serious penalties that a skilled criminal defense lawyer can avoid.

What is reckless driving? What is Negligent driving?

Defining the Difference

The state of Louisiana has seen fit to separate the two charges since what leads to being charged with one of these violations is not the same as the others. Reckless driving is considered more intentional than negligent driving and therefore carries a higher charge. Let’s take at some differences between the two. 

  • Operating a vehicle and falling asleep is a form of negligent driving. Although it is dangerous and causes accidents, the law affirms that the person falling asleep did not intend an accident that occurs due to falling asleep. 
  • Distracted driving, such as glancing at your phone, is another example of negligent driving. As we know, many deaths are caused each year, and this charge may be considered with a higher charge in the future. 
  • Listening to music loud enough to not hear emergency vehicle sirens can be considered negligent driving. 
  • An accident caused by excessive and dangerous speed can be considered reckless driving. This is also clear when someone participates in a drag race or other similar intentional acts while driving and causes an accident. Going over 15 miles an hour over a maximum speed limit is considered reckless driving.
  • Intentionally endangering someone else with your driving is another example of reckless driving. 

Although this is not a complete list of examples of the two charges, you can understand the differences between the two. In addition, it is important to note that in many cases these crimes may also be committed alongside other crimes such as drug chargesDWI and more.

What to Do if Charged With Reckless or Negligent Driving

One issue with both charges is that you can be accused of either by the police, depending on what they think the evidence is. As noted reckless driving carries a more severe penalty, you could find yourself facing what many consider serious jail time. In such cases you may be wondering whether or not you need a lawyer. You may also be wondering whether first time offenders go to jail. Unfortunately, the answer is yes. They do.

Negligent driving is serious.

Regardless of which charge you are accused of, but especially reckless driving, you need to contact an attorney to help you defend your case. 

Upon the receipt of a ticket or being arrested, make sure to call a lawyer. Next, we will discuss what to look for in hiring an attorney for reckless or negligent driving. 

PRO TIP: Read these tips for handling a DWI if your case involves driving under the influence!

Hiring the Best Attorney for Your Charge

Hiring a lawyer to defend your case sounds simple, but there are things to consider before calling a lawyer. Below are what to look for in a lawyer to hire.

  • Make sure the attorney is experienced in defending reckless and negligent driving cases. Most attorneys specialize in certain types of cases. You probably would not hire a real estate attorney to defend you in a criminal case. Even criminal cases differ as lawyers practice in specific types of courts. If charged with a traffic violation, you will want to hire an attorney who spends much of their time defending traffic charges. 
  • Hire a local attorney. If you do not live in the town in which you were charged, you may be tempted to hire someone from your hometown area. This can be a mistake, as local attorneys are almost always the best option. They will understand the local court system’s nuances and know how the different judges react in court. Someone from the outside will not be aware of these subtle differences. 
  • Obtain the best local attorney for your charge. Ask any lawyer that you are interviewing what their record is for defending traffic cases. If they have a poor record, move on to the next interview. Any attorney with a good court record will be proud to share with you that record.  

PRO TIP: Read these tips for getting pulled over here! We know you’ll enjoy them! Explore further details about the hit and run attorney incident on this page to gain a better understanding.

You Hired an Attorney, What Now? 

Now that you have hired your attorney to represent you in court, the next step is to do what they advise you to do. Many people think that the hiring of an attorney is the last step in the process. The truth is, it is only the beginning of your journey in traffic court. This is especially true if you are facing jail time. 

What you cannot do, is get yourself arrested for the same type of charge or anything for that matter. Keeping yourself out of trouble and showing the court that you are not guilty or that you only made a one time mistake will fly out of the window if you are arrested while waiting on your charge to go to court.

Other than this, show up to court on time and dress as if this court hearing is vital to you and your future. Mostly, don’t panic and trust that your attorney will help you receive the best possible solution to your case.

We hope you now understand the difference between reckless driving vs. negligent driving and wish you all the best!


Louisiana DWI & Criminal Lawyers

criminal lawyer

Louisiana criminal lawyers and DWI attorneys at the Barkemeyer Law Firm providing legal defense services for clients in Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Port Allen, Alexandria, New Orleans, Lafayette, Metairie, Kenner, Gretna, Hahnville, Chalmette, Slidell, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John, St. Bernard, Mandeville, Covington, Shreveport, Bossier, Jefferson, and all of Louisiana.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not formal legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

criminal defense law firm that accepts credit cards

Louisiana DWI And Criminal Law Firm

Barkemeyer Law Firm has multiple locations in Louisiana. Click Office Locations to find out which office is right for you.

st. tammany chamber of commerce member
Our DWI Lawyers are members the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce
© 2023 Barkemeyer Law Firm