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Police get to decide whether you were speeding or being reckless

Almost everyone speeds, at least occasionally, while driving. Some people have personal rules where they never go more than 5 miles per hour over the speed limit. Other people won’t even look down at their speedometer and will instead go as fast as they feel is right.

Most of the time, if you get pulled over while going too fast, the officer is going to issue a citation for speeding based on how much you exceeded the limit. However, you could wind up facing misdemeanor reckless driving charges if the Georgia police officer who stops you thinks that you were knowingly endangering others. What is the difference between speeding and reckless driving under Georgia law?

Georgia’s reckless driving law is open to interpretation

While some states have very specific criteria for reckless driving, such as going a certain number of miles over the posted speed limit, Georgia’s statute is entirely interpretive. Under the law, reckless driving is any action that shows reckless disregard for the safety of others or their property.

That broad definition means that the police officer stopping you will be the one to decide if what you did was reckless or not. If an officer thinks that you were trying to race, if they caught you going the wrong way on a one-way street or if you were going very fast, they might arrest you and charge you with a crime rather than merely stating you for speeding or violating other traffic laws.

If you are facing charges for reckless driving, it’s important to take those seriously. An experienced attorney can help.

You have the right to defend against reckless driving allegations in court, which could help you avoid a criminal record due to simply driving too fast.