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Avoid Reckless Driving Charges In Wisconsin | Eisenberg Law

Avoiding Reckless Driving Charges in Wisconsin

Wisconsin state driving laws are intended to keep the roadways safe for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and anyone else who uses the road. If you break these “rules of the road”, it is a crime and you will be punished in the form of tickets and fines or worse. Reckless driving charges are one example of a more severe charge. A conviction for reckless driving can include jail time in addition to fines. Being aware of what constitutes reckless driving in Wisconsin can help you avoid these behaviors and the repercussions.

What is Reckless Driving?

In Wisconsin, reckless driving is defined as negligent driving behaviors that cause “bodily harm” or “great bodily harm” to another person and also includes the endangerment of property due to the negligent operation of a vehicle. Other than the specific mention of “Endangering someone while driving over railroad tracks or around a crossing gate”, there isn’t a formal list of driving behaviors that qualify as reckless, but there are several examples of driving behaviors that tend to show up on reckless driving charges. These include:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Texting and driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Street racing or driving at high speeds
  • Failure to stop for stop signs or red lights
  • Aggressive driving and road rage
  • Driving outside of traffic lines
  • Intentionally blocking the flow of traffic

Penalties For Reckless Driving in Wisconsin

Penalties and punishments for reckless driving vary based on the severity of the infraction. Some violations just end with tickets, others can lead to felony charges. How severely you are punished also depends on whether it is your first offense or not.  

  • First offense penalties range from $25 to $200 in fines.
  • Repeat offenses that occur within 4 years of the first offense may land you in jail for up to 12 months along with fines ranging from $50 to $500.
  • Offenses that caused minor injuries to others can also be punishable with up to 12 months in jail and fines between $300 and $2,000.

Offenses resulting in life-threatening injuries fall under the definition of “great bodily harm” and are a Class I felony. A conviction may include up to 3 and a half years in prison and as much as $10,000 in fines. You will also lose your driving privileges for as many as 12 months.

Any sort of reckless driving conviction will result in 6 points being added to your driver’s license. The license will be suspended if you receive 12 points within one year.

Reckless Driving Defense at Eisenberg Law

The best way to avoid reckless driving charges is to avoid the driving behaviors that lead to them. If you have already been charged with reckless driving, contacting an experienced defense attorney is your best chance to minimize your risk of severe fines and penalties.

There are several defense strategies that can be successful against reckless driving charges. They can help get the charges reduced or dropped entirely.

  1. The Defendant Was Not Driving.
  2. The Driving Was Not Reckless.
  3. The Reckless Driving Was Necessary.
  4. It Was A Mistaken Arrest.

Reckless driving charges can be fought and can be fought successfully with a qualified attorney by your side. If you have been charged with reckless driving, don’t give up and don’t delay. Contact the reckless driving defense attorneys at Eisenberg Law Offices for help. We can help you avoid the worst of the fines and penalties so you don’t lose your license or go to jail.

Call 608-256-8356 or email to arrange a free case consultation.



Eisenberg Law has successfully represented our clients in thousands of Personal Injury, Criminal Defense and Family Law Cases during our 30-plus years in business.