Minnesota Reckless Driving

Driving recklessly in Minnesota can lead to up to one year of jail time and up to $3,000 in fines.
Written by Kaitlin May
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
A reckless driving charge in Minnesota results in up to one year in jail and up to $3,000 in fines. Certain cases can include a license suspension of up to one year.
Whether you’ve been late for work or have a “need for speed,” you may have driven a few miles over the speed limit in your lifetime. However, when your driving behavior goes a step further and becomes risky or dangerous to others, you could be convicted of a reckless driving charge.
Disregarding the rules of the road is a serious charge in every state that comes with both legal and financial repercussions that could impact you for a lifetime.
The best way to get ahead of a serious traffic conviction is to understand the laws where you live, and the
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How does Minnesota define reckless driving?

A driver will be charged with reckless driving in Minnesota when they’re fully aware of the traffic conditions and choose to disregard the substantial and unjustifiable risk that the driving may result in harm to another or another’s property.”
The risky maneuver made by a driver has to substantially deviate “from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation” to be constituted as reckless driving.
What exactly does that look like? Common instances of reckless driving in Minnesota include the following:
  • Speeding more than 25 mph over the posted speed limit
  • Swerving and weaving between lanes on the road
Each situation will be subjectively assessed in real time by a law enforcement officer.

What are the penalties for reckless driving in Minnesota?

The difference between standard and more severe penalties is the presence of bodily injury
A basic reckless driving violation in Minnesota results in a misdemeanor charge. In more critical cases that cause serious bodily injury, drivers will be presented with a gross misdemeanor charge and heavier consequences.
The penalties that accompany both reckless driving distinctions in Minnesota include:
  • Without injury, reckless driving results in up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000
  • With an injury, the charge results in up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $3,000
Either charge has the potential to earn you a license suspension of up to one year, but it’s not a guaranteed penalty.

How can I remove a reckless driving charge from my record?

Although Minnesota doesn’t implement a points system to report law infringements, moving violations have mandatory retention on your record for five years.
Alcohol-related violations will permanently live on your record, but according to the Minnesota Driver and Vehicles Services, standard traffic infractions have the opportunity to be removed from your record after five years.
The only way to initiate the removal of a reckless driving charge on your motor vehicle record is to contact the Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services Department. The state offers Driver Improvement training classes that could put you on a path to cleansing your record.

Defending your case in court

While you work on paring down the traffic citations on your
Minnesota driving record
, it’s wise to get a lawyer on your side to help you contest the severity of your reckless driving charges.
It might not be possible to drop the misdemeanor charge altogether, but with some negotiation, your lawyer could work on getting the charges reduced to a careless driving violation.

Will reckless driving make my insurance go up?

Higher insurance premiums are sure to follow the gauntlet of court cases, fines, and potential jail time after a reckless driving conviction. 
Each insurance company has its own risk assessment formula to determine how long your charge(s) will impact your rates, but you can expect an increase of an average $752 per year after a reckless driving case. 
With the spike in monthly payments, you’ll be footing a bill that’s 60% higher than the average car insurance rate in Minnesota.
Consideration is the key component to driving safely, and practicing caution while you’re on the roads in the North Star State on a regular basis can help you dodge steep insurance rates.

How to find affordable car insurance in Minnesota

If you’re staring down a reckless driving charge and panicking over astronomical insurance fees, just know that all hope isn’t lost. No matter what your driving record looks like, it’s not just possible—but easy—to find affordable rates with the car insurance super app
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Speeding tickets including 100+ mph violations are considered petty misdemeanors in Minnesota. Depending on the circumstances of the offense when you were pulled over, including if your speeding caused bodily harm to another driver, the penalty could be enhanced to a misdemeanor crime.
Yes. “Carelessly” or “heedlessly” operating a vehicle is considered a careless driving offense and results in a misdemeanor. Careless driving charges can result in up to 90 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
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