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What Is 'Wanton Disregard for the Safety of Others' in a Reckless Driving Charge?

 Posted on July 17,2023 in Traffic Violations

IL defense lawyerReckless driving is a severe offense involving driving a car in such a way that demonstrates no regard for the safety of others on the road. However, there is a certain level of reckless behavior that goes beyond ordinary negligence, known as wanton disregard. Understanding what constitutes wanton disregard in the context of reckless driving is essential for motorists who have been charged with such a crime. Today, we will explore the elements that define wanton disregard and its implications under the law. Facing such charges, you need a skilled criminal defense lawyer in your corner to give yourself a fighting chance at overcoming these charges.

Defining Wanton Disregard

This is a legal term used to describe a conscious and deliberate act of indifference towards the potential harm one’s actions may cause to others. It goes beyond simple negligence or recklessness, exhibiting a higher degree of culpability. In the context of reckless driving, wanton disregard involves engaging in extremely dangerous behavior while operating a vehicle, knowingly putting the lives and safety of others at considerable risk.

Examples of Wanton Disregard

Here are some key examples of such conduct, including:

  • Excessive speeding – Operating a vehicle at dangerously high speeds, significantly above the speed limit and prevailing traffic conditions, shows a wanton disregard for the safety of others. The intent to surpass legal speed limits without regard for the potential consequences can constitute wanton disregard.
  • Ignoring traffic laws – Disregarding traffic signals, failing to yield the right of way, or repeatedly weaving in and out of traffic are examples of behavior that demonstrate a willful disregard for the safety of others. Furthermore, such actions exhibit a conscious decision to place others at risk, indicating wanton disregard.
  • Intoxication – Driving under the influence would likely fall under the category of wanton disregard due to the inherent dangers it poses. Choosing to operate a vehicle while impaired shows an intentional disregard for the safety of other road users.

The Severe Legal Implications

Being found guilty of driving with wanton disregard will likely result in significant legal penalties, such as fines, license suspension, imprisonment, and more, depending on the severity of the offense and jurisdiction.

Contact a DuPage County Criminal Defense Attorney

For legal representation in this moment of maximum legal peril, contact the esteemed Aurora criminal defense lawyer with Law Office of Patricia Magaña, LLC. Call 630-448-2001 for a free consultation.


Source - https://www.investopedia.com/terms/w/wanton-disregard.asp


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