Careless Driving Attorney
A Minnesota Careless Driving citation is a serious traffic offense that can result in a criminal record if there is a conviction. Further, while it does not automatically result in a loss of driving privileges, it can lead to the termination of insurance, resulting in higher premiums for a number of years. Let’s take a look at the criminal statutory language, what it means in the real world, and how a careless driving attorney can help.
First, Minn. Stat. 169.13, subd. 2 defines Careless Driving as “ny person who operates or halts any vehicle upon any street or highway carelessly or heedlessly in disregard of the rights of others, or in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger any property or any person, including the driver or passengers of the vehicle ….” It is a misdemeanor offense, meaning the defendant faces a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
Careless driving is often used as a plea alternative in a first-time DWI with a low alcohol reading. Thinking about the type of driving conduct that satisfies the careless driving statute from this perspective can help us understand what amounts to careless driving in Minnesota. A DWI often includes driving conduct in which the driver is not driving safely – swerving, not maintaining lane control, fluctuating speed, erratic lane changes, etc.
Essentially, careless driving in Minnesota amounts to negligence while on the road. Each person must use such care as a reasonable person would under the same circumstances. This last part is where ambiguity can exist. What might be considered careless driving in one instance may not be careless driving in another. So, assessing the facts of the case are critical to analyzing the legitimacy of the careless driving charge.
The North Star team knows how to attack these cases. A customized legal strategy by a careless driving attorney must include a legal defense to the charges – i.e. the facts don’t amount to careless driving – and a negotiating strategy to find a favorable outcome. Combined, the client can get through the case in very favorable ways, including avoiding a criminal conviction and loss of insurance that would stem from it.
If you are facing this charge, know that hiring a Careless Driving attorney at North Star can help you avoid a criminal record, a loss of insurance, and put you on the right track going forward.