While overall traffic has been greatly reduced amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and Governor Hogan’s ongoing lockdown order, Maryland authorities are reporting a startling increase in reckless driving throughout the state.
Reckless driving is defined under the Maryland transportation code as, “driving a motor vehicle in wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property.” To the average citizen, this definition may seem vague, and we agree: It is. Top criminal defense attorneys in Maryland collectively interpret reckless driving as the operation of a vehicle in a way that puts other road users at substantial risk of injury or death.
Even amongst seasoned lawyers, factually establishing reckless driving in court has always been historically murky. It is nonetheless a question we face again and again with the same imprecise legal guidance. With an increase in reckless driving charges being filed, our attention has once again been drawn to the ambiguity of this charge and the defenses it requires.
When Is Speeding Considered Reckless?
In court, the state often contends that egregious speeding equates to reckless driving. This is argued despite Maryland law failing to provide a benchmark for recklessness based on the amount by which someone is exceeding the speed limit. Lawyers often point out this ambiguous interpretation to contest accusations of reckless driving. However, the court possesses the absolute ability to consider the specific facts and circumstances of each case as it wishes in deciding whether to convict for reckless driving.
Maryland State Police charged four triple-digit speeding cases just this past Sunday, including one case where the driver is alleged to have been traveling at an astounding 136 mph. Montgomery County alone reports that speeding cases where the measured speed exceeds 100 mph are up 500% compared to April and May of last year.
“With fewer cars on the roads, some motorists are driving at reckless speeds… whatever impulse it is that’s motivating some uncaring drivers—with no particular place to go—to turn roadways into speedways, this must stop…why this reckless behavior? Why now?”, asks John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s manager of public and government affairs.
Speeding Stops Can Lead to Bigger Charges
Speeding stops are often the precursor to more intrusive criminal investigations of motorists, such as roadside DUI and drug searches of drivers and their cars. The Supreme Court holds that police are justified in prolonging and expanding the scope of a speed stop if they observe any criminal indicators while processing the speeding ticket, such as the mere odor of alcohol or drugs. Police will use this to their advantage whenever possible. If you suspect your constitutional rights were violated, our team can investigate the charges against you to start your defense.
Defending You Against Serious Traffic Violations
For more than 3 decades, Alpert Schreyer, LLC has been providing high-quality defenses for those charged with reckless driving and other infractions. We are proud to serve clients all around the state. Our team has successfully defended traffic violations, DUI/DWI charges, and criminal cases in every Maryland county. Pandemic or not, we are committed to serving you, because protecting everyone’s civil rights remains extremely important during this time.
Facing criminal charges may be nerve-wracking. You can feel completely confident you’re getting a comprehensive defense by hiring Alpert Schreyer, LLC. No matter the circumstances, we are here to build a thorough defense and guide you towards achieving the most optimal outcome possible. Do you need our help? Don’t wait to get started on your case—call us today for a free consultation.
Don’t postpone your defense because of everything else that’s happening. We are offering free consultations via phone, email, and videoconferencing. The sooner you contact us, the more time we’ll have to build your case.
Call (301) 708-2689 today or send us a message if you’ve been charged with a traffic violation or any other criminal matter. We are here to fight for you.