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An oft-used word, but what does "careless" actually mean?

The word "careless" might reasonably qualify for entry on a top-10 list of "casually used but not closely understood" terms.

Most of us use that adjective (or its adverbial brother "carelessly") frequently to describe the actions or conduct of another person, right? Some on-the-job behavior is careless. A certain individual acted with careless disregard for others. A motorist drove carelessly, causing an accident.

Let's visit that last example for a moment, given that "careless driving" is an actual criminal offense in Colorado and elsewhere.

What does it mean?

It is important to know for drivers in Denver and across the state, given that -- as we note on our criminal defense website at Shazam Kianpour & Associates, PC -- careless driving "is a class two traffic misdemeanor offense and carries with it four points against your driver's license."

That exaction is not exactly a light slap on the wrist, especially with its potential coupling of up to a year behind bars in careless driving cases involving personal injury.''

As we point out on our site, careless driving has these two core components, which the state must prove to garner a conviction:

  • A motorist must have been driving in "a careless and imprudent manner" (a judge or jury will weigh in on this concededly subjective assessment regarding whether a vehicle was being handled in an unsafe way); and
  • An alleged offender must have been operating his or her vehicle "without due regard" for law or the personal safety of others

Obviously, the state's case will be less than crystal clear in some instances, given the subjectivity and ambiguity inherent in the proof-required elements.

An experienced Colorado attorney who routinely defends state motorists against traffic charges can provide diligent representation in a careless driving case or other motor vehicle-related matter.

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