The term “dry reckless” is going to look a little strange to many people reading this. The reality is that most places around the country do not refer to reckless driving as dry reckless. However, in Pennsylvania and a few other locations, that is exactly what dry reckless means. A dry reckless charge could be considered a misdemeanor offense in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Here, we want to discuss why reckless driving is sometimes called dry reckless as well as what type of actions will result in a person facing this type of charge.
Why is This Called Dry Reckless in Pennsylvania?
The term dry reckless is used to differentiate a reckless driving charge that occurs when a person is not under the influence of alcohol. If there is alcohol involved in a reckless driving charge, then it will typically be called a “wet reckless” charge. Often, a wet reckless charge will be offered to a person who is actually facing DUI charges. Wet reckless is a way to negotiate down the charge and the penalties involved in those situations.
Dry reckless charges are going to be handled under the reckless driving laws in Pennsylvania. Section 3736 of the Pennsylvania vehicle code specifically says that a person can face this charge if they drive “any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.”
What Actions Constitute Reckless Driving?
There are many different ways that a driver can put others in danger on the roadway. Some reckless driving behaviors are quite common throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The main driving behaviors that result in dry reckless charges in PA include the following:
- Excessive speeding
- Failing to use turn signals
- Running stop signs or stoplights
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Street racing
- Distracted driving
- Road rage incidents
In general, the law enforcement authority that responds to a particular incident will use its discretion when determining what types of charges to apply.
What are the Penalties for a Dry Reckless Charge?
Under the law in Pennsylvania, there are various factors that need to be taken into consideration when determining the level of charge applied in these situations. Pennsylvania code says that reckless driving will be considered a summary offense with a fine of up to $200 if a person is convicted. Additionally, a person could face a license suspension of up to six months.
However, if the reckless driving caused harm to another person or property, the penalties will increase. If an injury is caused by the reckless driving actions, a person will face a fine of $1,000 and a minimum jail sentence of 90 days. If the reckless driving resulted in another person’s death, then the penalty a minimum of 12 months in jail and a fine of $25,000. Additionally, if a person kills someone else while recklessly driving, they could face charges of vehicular manslaughter.
Work With an Attorney
If you or somebody you care about has been charged with dry reckless in Pennsylvania, need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will work to handle every aspect of your case. Your attorney will examine your driving record and speak to prosecutors about getting your charges reduced or even dismissed, depending on the factors related to your particular situation.