Utah Criminal Defense


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Careless Driving

Careless Driving in Utah. Careless Driving in Utah

Careless driving is the little sister of reckless driving in Utah. Careless driving is a Class C Misdemeanor rather than a Class B like reckless driving is. Careless driving carriers 50 points on your Utah driving record—rather than 80 points.
Careless driving is a good alternative to reckless driving tickets.

Careless Driving versus Reckless Driving—What’s the Difference?

Moving Violations in 3 Miles Stretch: Careless driving requires 2 or more Utah Traffic Code moving violations in a 3 mile stretch. Reckless driving requires 3 or more moving violations, or one single episode of reckless conduction or going over 105 miles per hour. Careless driving has some criteria where you distracted while driving also that reckless driving does not.

Driving License Suspension: Careless driving is not enhanceable. Careless driving can’t suspend your license unless you unfortunately and accidently kill someone while driving. Then you have much bigger problems to deal with.

Careless driving cannot be enhanced to suspend your driver’s license like a reckless driving can be enhanced. Two reckless driving tickets in 12 months can suspend your license for 3 months upon recommendation of the judge. Or a reckless driving conviction and a DUI like conviction may suspend. See Utah Code 53-3-220(1)(a)(viii).

Jail: Careless driving carries up to 90 days in jail. Prison is not possible. Utah Careless Driving Defense Attorney
Reckless driving carries up to 6 months in jail. Prison is not possible.
Class C. Careless driving is a Class C Misdemeanor.
Class B. Reckless driving is a Class B Misdemeanor.
Fine. $690 bail scheduling fine recommended for reckless.
$110 bail schedule for careless driving.

Probation: Both reckless and careless driving will carry up to 6-12 months of court probation. Both offenses will likely require traffic or defensive driving school. Court probation is non-reporting informal probation. It is the lowest type of probation.

Driving Points: Reckless driving carries 80 points. Careless driving has 50 points.
Insurance: Your screwed. Your insurance will go up with either a reckless or careless driving ticket, much like it would with a simple speeding ticket.


Like most misdemeanors, you can expunge them after the respective waiting period.

Class C Careless Driving Tickets: 3 year waiting period to expunge after the probation ends.
Class B Reckless Driving Tickets: 4 year waiting period to expunge after the probation ends.

All expungements require that the case close successfully. Cases where you failed to complete probation, end in orders to show cause or jail never close successfully.


The Utah Careless Driving Statute Reads for those diving deep into research before they hire an attorney:

Effective 5/5/2021
41-6a-1715. Careless driving defined and prohibited. Careless Driving versus Reckless Driving in Utah

(1) A person operating a motor vehicle is guilty of careless driving if the person:
(a) commits two or more moving traffic violations under this chapter in a series of acts within a single continuous period of driving covering three miles or less in total distance; or
(b) commits a moving traffic violation under this chapter other than a moving traffic violation under Part 6, Speed Restrictions, while being distracted by one or more activities taking place within the vehicle that are not related to the operation of a motor vehicle, including:
(i) searching for an item in the vehicle; or
(ii) attending to personal hygiene or grooming.
(2) A violation of this section is a class C misdemeanor.
(3) In addition to the penalty provided under this section or any other section, a judge may order the revocation of the convicted person’s driver license if the violation causes or results in the death of another person in accordance with Subsection 53-3-218(7).

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