It is against the law to drive carelessly or imprudently in Missouri. While other states have reckless driving laws that explicitly define reckless driving, Missouri does not currently have such a law.
Instead, Missouri law requires drivers to:
- Drive in a careful and prudent way
- Drive at a speed that will not endanger others
- Exercise the highest degree of care
A driver who fails to follow these rules may be charged with careless and imprudent driving. Since there are no clear definitions of careful, prudent, or even speeding in the context of this law, police officers have discretion about whether to charge a driver with breaking the law.
Some examples of careless and imprudent driving include:
- Excessive speeding
- Texting and driving
- Distracted driving
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Trying to avoid a police officer
- Passing another vehicle when it is not safe to do so
- Braking suddenly and without reason
If you are charged with careless or imprudent driving for any of these reasons—or any other reason—then you haven’t been given a traffic ticket. You have been charged with a crime.
Criminal Penalties for Careless or Imprudent Driving
A careless and imprudent driving guilty plea or conviction will add four points to your driving record. Additionally, you will be sentenced for a misdemeanor.
You will face Class B Misdemeanor charges if you are charged with careless and imprudent driving, but you were not involved in a crash. The potential consequences for a Class B Misdemeanor guilty plea or conviction include up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
If, however, you are charged with careless and imprudent driving that resulted in an accident, then you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. The possible penalties for a Class A Misdemeanor guilty plea or conviction include up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
Now Is the Time to Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Our experienced criminal defense lawyer will examine every aspect of your case and present the strongest possible defense, so you can avoid the harshest consequences of careless and imprudent driving charges. Call us today or fill out our contact form so we can protect your legal rights.