Explaining Reckless Endangerment

(Updated 6/18/20)

When you are pulled over under suspicion of a DUI in Missouri, it’s most likely because the officer saw you make a common traffic violation such as rolling through a stop sign, speeding, failing to use your turn signals, etc. Because of this, in most cases when you are charged with a DUI, that’s not the only charge you’ll get. In some cases, the indications of your suspected alcohol or drugged induced driving will be more serious, especially if another person is involved and is deemed as Reckless Driving or Reckless Endangerment.

car accident - DUI Defense Springfield

Missouri laws in this area are fairly complicated, but generally allow for an additional charge to be brought against someone if they put others at risk while intoxicated. This can include anything from carrying another person in your vehicle while you’re intoxicated and driving, to manslaughter cases where another person is killed as a result of your actions and intoxication. Furthermore, in Missouri reckless endangerment is its own charge under the term careless and imprudent driving. These charges can be broken down into the following:

  • Imprudent & Careless Driving Involving an Accident: When an imprudent and careless driving offense involves an accident with another vehicle or person’s property, this is considered a class A misdemeanor. If convicted of this charge a person could face up to a year of jail time, with a maximum fine of $2000. Points will also be added to your license and your license will be suspended and/or revoked for a set period of time (usually 90-days for a first offense). Additionally, if there was alcohol present during the accident, in most cases, your vehicle will be outfitted with an ignition interlock device for a set amount of time (up to three years). 
  • Imprudent and Careless Driving: When there is no accident involved in a careless and imprudent driving case, a person will most likely be charged with a class B misdemeanor. If convicted of a class B misdemeanor a person could face fines of up to $1000 with a possible six months in jail. Just like the careless and imprudent driving in Missouri with an accident, this charge will also leave you with a suspended license and points will be added to your license 

In almost all cases, any sort of reckless endangerment charge in addition to a DUI is enough to push a charge into felony territory. Felony offenses in Missouri almost always include jail time, on top of hefty fines, and any additional charges for the DUI. While you should never drive drunk, especially with other people in your car with you, if you find that an officer has added any additional charges to your DUI report, it’s best to seek legal aid to understand the charges and their potential implications if you’re found guilty and work to get them reduced when possible.

man drinking a beer at the wheel - Springfield DWI lawyers

Another term to be aware of in Missouri when being charged with reckless endangerment or a possible DUI is “wet reckless”. A wet reckless is the term used to describe when a DWI charge is reduced to a lesser charge (reckless endangerment) by way of a plea bargain. Since Missouri doesn’t restrict plea bargaining in DWI cases, there is a chance that you could bargain your way to a less serious charge. 

Talk To a DWI Attorney Today

The consequences of landing a reckless endangerment charge or a DUI charge in Missouri are severe and can impact the rest of your personal and professional life, not to mention your driving record. If you have been involved in an accident, are facing DWI and/or careless, and imprudent driving charges in Springfield, MO, contact the legal team at DWI Springfield today. Your best chance of getting off with the least amount of penalties is by working with a DWI attorney that has won hundreds of cases just like yours. So what are you waiting for? Call us today for a complimentary consultation.