CALL OR TEXT 24/7:  909.939.7126
Open/Close Menu Inland Empire Criminal Defense
Reckless Driving Laws (VC 23103_VC 23104) in California - IE Criminal Defense

I. California Vehicle Code 23103/23104/23105: Reckless Driving

Legal Definition: A person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.

For a person to be convicted of a violation of VC 23103, the prosecution must prove the following:

  1. You drove a vehicle on a highway/street/in an off-street parking facility); AND
  2. You intentionally drove with wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.

II. What does this mean?

A person acts with wanton disregard for safety when (1) he or she is aware that his or her actions present a substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm, and (2) he or she intentionally ignores that risk. The person does not, however, have to intend to cause damage. An off-street parking facility is an off-street facility open for use by the public for parking vehicles. It includes a facility open to retail customers, where no fee is charged for parking.

Other factors can show this disregard, such as speeding, or going too fast for the given conditions (such as when it is raining), swerving or changing lanes quickly, and tailgating other drivers for several miles. These would all be considered when it was being reviewed that you may have been driving recklessly.

III. Penalties

Reckless Driving is considered a misdemeanor-only offense in California. If you are convicted, you could be sentenced to a minimum of five days in jail or up to 90 days in the County Jail. You would be required to serve 50% of that sentence. In addition, you would receive 2 points on your Driver’s License upon a conviction.

IV. Other relevant violations under this section

1. VC 23104: Reckless Driving with Injury

Legal Definition: Whenever reckless driving of a vehicle proximately causes bodily injury to a person other than the driver, this person is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Penalties: Reckless Driving involving injury is considered a misdemeanor-only offense in California. If you are convicted, you could be sentenced to a minimum of thirty days in jail or up to 180 days in the County Jail. You would be required to serve 50% of that sentence. In addition, you would receive 2 points on your Driver’s License upon a conviction.

However, if the injury is a serious bodily injury, a VC 23104(b) charge is a felony violation, where you could be sentenced to State Prison for upwards of 16 months, two or three years. You would be required to serve 50% of that sentence.

2. VC 23103.5(a): Wet Reckless

Legal Definition: If the prosecution agrees to a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a charge of a violation of Section 23103 in satisfaction of, or as a substitute for, an original charge of a violation of Section 23152, the prosecution shall state for the record a factual basis for the satisfaction or substitution, including whether or not there had been the consumption of an alcoholic beverage or ingestion or administration of a drug, or both, by the defendant in connection with the offense. The statement shall set forth the facts that show whether or not there was a consumption of an alcoholic beverage or the ingestion or administration of a drug by the defendant in connection with the offense.

A wet reckless charge is not filed as a criminal charge in a criminal complaint against you. Instead, wet reckless is charged only after the filing of DUI charges that are later reduced as part of a plea bargain to wet reckless charges. In other words, it is a reduction from a DUI charge, if you’re BAC is relatively low.

You could still face the same jail time issues as a DUI, but the benefits are your fines are usually $500 less or more, your DUI class is only 12 hours and not 3-4 months, and it does not appear as a DUI on your record. It essentially is a reckless driving charge, but also involves alcohol. However, if you are to be convicted of a new DUI offense within ten years of this plea bargain, the second DUI charge is now considered a second DUI offense. Wet Reckless charges are considered “prior DUIs” in any subsequent DUI charges within ten years.

V. Common Defenses

  1. Statute of Limitations
  2. Insufficient Evidence
  3. Necessity
  4. Violation of your Rights

The most common time this can come up is when you are in a “necessity” type of situation. By that, it means you could be driving your pregnant wife to the hospital because she is giving birth. Another example could be that you are driving your injured friend to the hospital because they received a stab or gunshot wound. Either circumstance here shows a valid defense of Necessity for this charge.

VI. Call Today

Reckless Driving is easily defensible and easy negotiable with a Prosecutor if you are able to hire a seasoned Defense Attorney who knows the rules and the reductions available for this charge. Our Reckless Driving Ontario attorney has successfully defended numerous cases involving violations of VC 23103. The initial consultation is free and we are available to answer your questions 24/7. Call the Inland Empire Criminal Defense today at 909-939-7126! Located in Ontario, CA.

Nenita T. from Google Review
I highly recommend Atty. Adam Jackson

He helped me so much with my case and kept me updated throughout the process until everything was taken care of. I didn't have to go to jail. If you need an attorney, he is your guy!
Jane D. from Yelp Review (Link)
I'm beyond happy with his service

It was a little hard to get a hold of him at first but worth it! He understood the assignment I told him what I had, what I wanted, and he guided me with steps to take to get a case dismissal and IT WAS SUCCESSFUL! The reviews are true and he's very knowledgeable, professional, and kind. I'd definitely recommend him to everyone and would go through him again (hopefully not though lol). THANK YOU SO MUCH ADAM & TEAM FOR ALL YOUR HELP!
Chris A. from Google Review
Extremely Knowledgeable on the Subject

I contacted them via their website page and was pleasantly surprised when they contacted me in such a short time. I got in contact with Adam Jackson who was willing to assist me with his expertise regarding some questions I had about my past criminal record. He was extremely knowledgeable on the subject and offered his best solution for me. I would highly recommend them if you are in need of legal assistance.
Anonymous from Avvo Review
Highly recommended!!

Let me start by saying if I could put 10 stars I would. Mr Jackson is a fantastic lawyer. He helped me with 2 of my cases and got one dismissed. The other case went to trail and I felt nervous, because I never been thought a court process before, however he made me feel very confertable with the process and made me laugh. I went in the court room feeling much better. He is extremely smart, and knew what questions to ask and how to ask them. After a lengthy process I ended up wining my case thanks to his ability to articulate my situation. I also noticed that he was a good writer, and that added alot of weight towards my case. He will definitely be my family lawyer for years to come. I highly recommend using him for all your issues!
Chris M. from Yelp Review (Link)
My warrant and case were completely dismissed

I have to say that I called IECD and spoke with Adam Jackson on a Thursday, and he very quickly got onto my case and had the entire thing resolved by the following Monday. My warrant and case were completely dismissed, and my record remains clean. Thank you to Adam Jackson and Giovanni Bartoletti for getting me all taken care of in record time. I would highly recommend this law firm for your criminal case needs. These guys are on top of it, and will work fast to get your case taken care of. My case and warrant followed me around for four years. Now I can finally stop looking over my shoulder in fear of being pulled over for any reason. Thank you IECD for everything! 5 out of 5 stars is my rating for this law firm. Fantastic!
Write a comment:


Your email address will not be published.

Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor should it be considered the formation of a lawyer or attorney-client relationship. If you would like to find out more information about your particular legal matter, contact our office for a consultation.

© 2023 Inland Empire Criminal Defense. Site Designed by Inbound Surge, a Digital Creative Agency.