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Reckless vs. Careless Driving DUI

If you have been charged with impaired or intoxicated driving in Michigan, it may be possible to negotiate a reduction in charges through plea bargaining. For instance, an experienced Michigan DUI attorney may be able to negotiate an operating while intoxicated (OWI) charge down to operating while visibly impaired (OWVI), depending on the circumstances of the case. In other cases, it may even be possible to have the charge reduced to a traffic offense such as reckless or careless driving.

What Is the Difference Between Reckless and Careless Driving?

Although the terms sound similar, there is a big difference between reckless and careless driving.

  • Reckless driving is a criminal offense, punishable by a fine and potential jail time
  • Careless driving is considered a civil infraction, meaning there is no associated jail time and it will not be reported on your criminal record

As you can see, careless driving is the lesser of these two charges. Reckless driving is considered a misdemeanor, and a conviction of this charge will appear on your criminal record. However, it is highly preferable over an impaired or intoxicated driving conviction, as a reckless driving conviction cannot be used to elevate a second or subsequent drunk driving charge.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Patrick Barone is the ONLY choice for DUI defense. He was realistic from the start and made it a point to look at my case before taking my money. As a business owner, when I think of attorneys, I think of the "shark infested waters. Patrick is a shark alright, but his prey is not the client; it's justice for his client. Ten stars Patrick!! Chris F.
★★★★★
Attorney Patrick Barone was very helpful and helped me understand the charge and sentence absolutely clearly. He also guided me through step by step helping me form a statement. His instructions were clear and detailed. It was obvious he cared about me understanding every important detail within my case. I would absolutely recommend this defense firm to anyone in need. Aaron B.
★★★★★
The Barone Defense Firm is the firm I recommend. They are truly concerned about the person, not just the legal issue, but the person as well. They are the most knowledgeable defense firm that I am aware of, having actually written the book on DWI Defense. If you are faced with a DWI you will not find a more professional and skilled law firm. But, most importantly, they care about how the accused individual recovers his or her life when the case is complete. Very remarkable group of lawyers. William H.