What is Reckless Driving and How Is It Different From Speeding?

Even though they sound similar, speeding and reckless driving are two totally different motor vehicle violations. Whether you have received a reckless driving ticket or you do not know what the differences are, you should understand them so you can have the information to fight your ticket, or know what not to do in the future.

What is Reckless Driving?

In Connecticut, reckless driving can be constituted as:

  1. Driving in a way that endangers the lives of people other than the driver
  2. Driving over 85 mph
  3. Driving a vehicle that has a commercial registration downgrade or clutch or gears disengaged
  4. Driving a vehicle while knowing that it contains defective mechanisms

Believe it or not, driving under the influence of alcohol is not in of itself enough to constitute reckless driving. Officers usually take other factors into consideration when issuing a ticket for reckless driving. These factors could include eating while driving, using a cell phone, driving erratically, or engaging in other distracting behavior while driving.

Reckless driving is actually considered a crime in Connecticut, not just a motor vehicle violation. But, keep in mind that under motor vehicle law, reckless driving is considered a misdemeanor, not a felony. When getting a ticket for reckless driving, you are actually getting a summons, which is a mandatory date to appear in court. With speeding tickets, the ticket you are given by the officer is actually just an answer date for which you must respond by. Speeding tickets and other motor vehicle tickets like it are infractions.


Unlike a speeding violation, a reckless driving violation has severe penalties in Connecticut. If you are found guilty of reckless driving, you can be fined up to $300, and face prison time for up to 30 days for your first offense. In addition, you can be fined up to $600, and face prison time for up to one year for any subsequent offense. If you are found guilty of reckless driving, you could actually have your license suspended as well.

Whether you get a reckless driving violation or a speeding ticket, the consequences go much further than just the fine. Speeding tickets and reckless driving tickets alike can have long lasting consequences for your driving history, license, and insurance. Reckless driving can also cause you to have a crime on your record.

If you have received a reckless driving violation or a speeding ticket, call our office to find out what your options are and speak with someone who can answer your questions.

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