Believe it or not, underage drivers caught driving without a license can also be cited for reckless driving in NY. While NY has not codified a law prohibiting this specific offense, an underage driver could end up with two separate tickets. Ordinarily, an underage driver ticket (VTL 509) is not so severe. However, when issued in tandem with a NY reckless driving ticket, major consequences emerge.
Underage Reckless Driving
Ordinarily, an underage driver pulled over for unlicensed operation can receive a fine of up to $300, an $93 surcharge, and potentially 15 days in jail (although jail is hardly imposed). This usually happens when an officer happens to notice that the driver behind the wheel looks remarkably young.
However, if the minor was found not only driving without a license but also in a way that was interfering with the safety of other motorists, he can be ticketed for reckless driving.
One might initially think that this additional ticket makes no difference. After all, a minor does not have a license for any points to go onto! Think again; points are not the only penalty out there.
Negative Consequences of Underage Reckless Driving
A hefty fine will be assigned (up to $300), the underage driver could end up with a criminal record (because reckless driving is a misdemeanor in NY), and his or her parents’ insurance can skyrocket.
Also, because reckless driving is a misdemeanor, the offense will be placed on the minor’s criminal record and will show up on background checks. This can make an entrance into college more difficult and even prevent him or her from getting employment.
Likewise, the underage driver caught reckless driving may even be put in jail for 30 days.
Think about it: $600 in fines alone (for both tickets), a criminal record, and an insurance hike are no laughing matters.
Not only that, but the minor will find it much harder to get his actual NY driver’s license when he reaches the legal age.
Remember, pleading guilty or representing yourself is simply not an option when so much is at risk. If you (or your underage child) are facing reckless driving charges, it is imperative that you hire an experienced reckless driving attorney to help present your case in the best possible light.