As many drivers in Colorado are busy going from work to errand to meeting, it can be easy to feel rushed. Your cell phone may look tempting as you can’t help but check just one more text message or phone call. However, you get end up getting distracted and swerve a little to avoid the curb. You hit it a little and your car rolls over it. A police officer sees this and pulls you over. The officer has charged you with careless driving.
This is a pretty serious charge and not one that anyone should take lightly. Many drivers are stunned and confused as to how they could have ended up with such a charge. However, the applicable statute in Colorado is pretty broad for careless driving (C.R.S. 42-4-1402):
“[A person who drove] in a careless and imprudent manner, without due regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and use of the streets and highways and all other attendant circumstances.”
The potential criminal consequences of being convicted in Colorado for careless driving is a Class 2 misdemeanor. This could mean up to a year of jail time and up to $1,000 in fines.
Furthermore, if you cause bodily injury or harm this increases the conviction to a Class 1 misdemeanor. This could mean up to 18 months of jail time and up to $5,000 in fines. A related and more serious charge is reckless driving where the standard goes from imprudent to wanton disregard. Even more serious potential consequences can stem from a reckless driving conviction.
If you are facing careless or reckless driving charges in Colorado, it is imperative that you talk to a seasoned criminal defense lawyer. Knowledgeable legal defense is key to helping with your situation.