CA Vehicle Codes 23103 & 23104
Reckless Driving in California
Reckless driving means driving on a highway, street, or in a parking lot with wanton disregard for the safety of other persons or property. This means the driver knew there was a real risk of harm to others by his or her driving, but the driver intentionally ignored the risk by continuing to drive in such a manner.
Speeding does not rise to the level of reckless driving unless the speed is so excessive as to create a substantial risk of harm to others.
In addition, any device that can transport people or things on a street can be considered a vehicle, so this charge is not limited solely to cars.
If no injury occurs, the defendant will be charged with violating VC 23103. If an injury results from the reckless driving, the defendant will be charged with violating VC 23104. However, the degree to which the driver was driving recklessly and the severity of the injury will determine whether the 23104 violation is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. A 23103 violation is always a misdemeanor.
Prosecuting California Vehicle Codes 23103 & 23104
The prosecutor must prove:
- You were the driver;
- You were driving recklessly, by creating a substantial risk of harm to others caused by the manner in which you were driving; and
- You were aware of such risks and ignored them.
- All the same elements as a 23103 violation, plus an injury to another person; and
- The injury was caused by the reckless driving.
For 23104 violations only:
Convictions for VC 23103 carry a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail, whereas VC 23104 convictions can result in 6 months in jail as a misdemeanor and 3 years in jail as a felony.
For both statutes, the driver may lose his or her license, receive a suspension of his or her license, and be required to pay restitution to any victims of the reckless driving.
Defending Vehicle Code 23103 & 23104
Defending a violation of either of these codes can be done by a skilled defense attorney. The attorney can defend the charges if the prosecution’s evidence is insufficient to show you were the driver of the vehicle. In addition, if the manner in which you drove is not reckless, you cannot be convicted.
Evidence surrounding injuries to other parties may be called into question as well, because the injury must be caused by your reckless driving.
Finally, an attorney can argue you drove “recklessly” out of necessity, meaning the risk of harm was greater if you obeyed all laws of the road than if you violated them by driving recklessly.
We Want to Help
If you or a loved one is being charged with Reckless Driving in violation of VC 23103 or 23104 in California, we invite you to contact us immediately for a free case review. Schedule an appointment to meet with us in person, or feel free to submit an evaluation online and we will get in contact with you ASAP. We can provide a free consultation in our office located in Century City, or by phone.
Our experienced and assiduous attorneys will be sure to fight until the end to reduce or drop your charges completely.
Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529