Nebraska Reckless Driving

Reckless driving in Nebraska carries maximum fines of $1,000, up to a one-year jail sentence, license suspension, and 6 points on your driving record.
Written by Maxine Boyko
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
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A reckless driving charge in Nebraska carries a penalty of up to $1,000 in fines, a one-year license suspension, up to one year in jail, and six points on your driving record. Your vehicle could also be impounded from 60 days to a full year. 
Reckless driving in Nebraska is considered a charge with wide-ranging stipulations. The dividing line between Nebraska’s two reckless driving classifications isn’t very clear. What is clear, however, is that being convicted of any reckless driving charge is a misdemeanor that comes with major consequences, including major increases in
car insurance
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How does Nebraska define reckless driving?

Nebraska has two types of reckless driving—standard reckless driving and willful reckless driving with slightly different definitions. 
  • Standard reckless driving is defined as operating a vehicle with “an indifferent or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property” 
  • Willful reckless driving is defined as driving in a way that shows an intentional disregard for the safety of persons or property
Although these two definitions may seem practically identical to one another, the difference lies in the driver’s intent. A driver who willfully—or deliberately—drives recklessly holds a higher level of culpability than a standard—or rash and heedless—reckless driver.
Although Nebraska law does not state specific instances of reckless driving, here is a brief list of behaviors that often result in reckless driving charges in other states:
  • Excessive speeding
  • Failing to yield
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Evading law enforcement
  • Road rage
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Racing other vehicles
Whether a charge is for standard or willful reckless driving will depend on the citing officer’s assessment of the violation. Due to the calculated nature of willful reckless driving, the penalties are more severe than standard reckless driving. 
MORE: What’s the difference between road rage and aggressive driving?

What are the penalties for reckless driving in Nebraska? 

The penalties for standard and willful reckless driving depend on the circumstances, but the penalties generally are:
First offense
  • Misdemeanor: Class III 
  • Jail: Up to three months
  • Fines: Maximum $500
  • License suspension: 30 days to one year for willful reckless driving only
Second offense 
  • Misdemeanor: Class II
  • Jail: Up to six months
  • Fines: Maximum $1,000
  • Vehicle impoundment: If registered to the driver, mandatory impoundment for 60 days to one year
Third offense
  • Misdemeanor: Class I 
  • Jail: Up to one year
  • Fines: Maximum $1,000
  • License suspension: Mandatory one year
A standard reckless driving violation adds five demerit points to the driver’s record, and a willful reckless driving conviction adds six demerit points. Gathering 12 or more points within a two-year period can result in license suspension—a single reckless driving conviction will automatically take you to the halfway point of losing your right to drive.   
Key Takeaway Both standard reckless driving and wilful reckless driving result in serious criminal convictions—but having a premeditated motive is what makes willful reckless driving slightly worse than standard reckless driving. 
MORE: How do driver violation points affect your insurance rates?

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

In Nebraska, a reckless driving charge can be removed from your record with time. Convictions and points are automatically removed from your driving record after five years
If you don’t want to wait that long, you are eligible to remove points from your driving record if you have fewer than 12. Each completed driver improvement course removes two points from your record. Keep in mind that points can only be removed for violations that have occurred within the last two years

Will reckless driving make my insurance go up? 

A reckless driving charge will cause a significant and guaranteed hike in your insurance rate. On average, you can expect your insurance to go up by about 65% if you’re charged with reckless driving in Nebraska. 
If you have been charged with reckless driving, you should put your best effort into clearing it from your record. Taking a driver improvement course will both reduce points and help boost your driving skills. To maintain a clean driving record, you can avoid incurring further charges with safe and responsible driving habits. 
MORE: How to get car insurance with a bad driving record 

How to find affordable car insurance in Nebraska

Depending on your circumstances, you won’t see any insurance surcharges immediately following a reckless driving violation. Insurance companies often wait to review your driving record until the end of the term period—and that’s when you should start the search for a better insurance plan. 
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FAQs

Yes, you could go to jail for reckless driving in Nebraska. Depending on the severity of the violation, you could spend up to three months in jail for a first offense reckless driving conviction. Subsequent convictions can result in a six-month to one-year prison term.
The minimum penalty for reckless driving in Nebraska is jail time for up to three months, up to $500 in fines, and/or five demerit points added to your driving record. If convicted of willful reckless driving, you could also face a 30-day license suspension.
In Nebraska, there is a slight difference between reckless driving and aggressive driving. Standard reckless driving is driving in a way that is considered heedless or rash. Aggressive driving would most likely qualify as willful reckless driving, which is driving in a way that shows intentional disregard for the safety of others.
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