Careless and Imprudent Driving

We all recognize reckless driving—driving above the speed limit, failing to pay attention to the road, distracted driving, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol are all signs of it. And each of us understands that we shouldn’t do these things since they endanger our life and the lives of others.


In Missouri, reckless driving is driving without concern for the safety of other drivers and pedestrians. The precise legal definitions of reckless driving are somewhat broad in Missouri, since state law does not specifically use the term reckless driving when referring to criminal activity. Therefore, police officers can exercise full discretion in deciding what is—or isn’t—unsafe driving.

But did you know that Missouri has a special law for careless and imprudent driving? Law enforcement officers charge countless Missouri residents under this law every year.

If you happen to be one of them, don’t worry. You are in the right place. We at Missouri Traffic Tickets offer guidance on what to do if you’re charged with careless and imprudent driving.

We can also provide you with legal representation when you receive a summons to court. Our team of experienced traffic attorneys will defend you as your case goes in front of a Missouri judge.

Be sure to contact Missouri Traffic Tickets at 417-501-0653 for a free legal consultation today. Rest assured that any information you provide us will remain confidential.

Careless and Imprudent
Driving in Missouri

Missouri state law requires drivers to “exercise the highest degree of care” and to “drive in a careful and prudent manner.” Any situation in which someone is driving unsafely can technically violate state law. If so, a law enforcement officer may then charge the driver with careless and imprudent driving. Police officers and state troopers have pretty broad latitude in deciding whether to charge someone with careless and imprudent driving. Here are some common examples of traffic violations charged under this law—especially if the activities result in injury or death:
  • Speeding to the point where you are endangering other persons or property
  • Distracted driving
  • Texting while driving
  • Road rage
  • Racing someone on the road
  • Dangerously passing someone on the road

Driving while under the influence (DWI) of drugs or alcohol is a higher charge than careless and imprudent driving and carries a harsher penalty.

If you’ve received a basic speeding ticket in the past, you know that you will have to pay a fine and perhaps attend driving school if you choose not to contest the ticket. Depending upon how fast you were speeding, you may have a two- or three-point penalty added to your driving record. But if you’re charged with careless and imprudent driving, the legal consequences can be far more severe.
  • First of all: you can receive up to four-point penalty on your driving record, depending on the jurisdiction
  • Second: you may either be charged with careless and imprudent driving or careless and imprudent driving involving an accident
Careless and imprudent driving qualifies as a Class B misdemeanor under Missouri state law. If convicted, you may receive up to six months in jail or $1,000 in fines. Careless and imprudent driving involving an accident means that an accident occurred as a result of your unsafe driving. It is a Class A misdemeanor. You may receive up to a year in jail or $2,000 in fines.

If you receive a charge of careless and imprudent driving in Missouri, you should immediately seek the services of qualified traffic attorneys in your area. Our law firm specializes in traffic law. A skilled attorney may be able to reduce the points on your driving record, lower your fines, and potentially save you from jail time.

Hire Top-Rated
Traffic Lawyers in Missouri


Naturally, you might wonder, “Do I really need to hire a traffic lawyer for careless and imprudent driving?” Yes, you do.

Lacking high-quality legal representation can make a bad situation much worse. You need a Missouri traffic lawyer who is not only comfortable crafting your defense in the courtroom but who is also knowledgeable about local and state law laws in your jurisdiction.

An experienced lawyer may be the only thing separating you from hefty fines and a criminal conviction. Having a misdemeanor conviction can also affect your ability to find work, especially if your job involves driving in a work capacity.

If you hire one of our lawyers, you will receive the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your legal case is in good hands.

Call Missouri Traffic Tickets

Don’t waste another minute. Hire our firm to represent you today. Our team of specialized lawyers offers 20-plus years of experience in Missouri traffic law.

We make it easy for you to check on your case 24/7 using our online portal. Plus, our streamlined process means we’re able to offer you excellent representation at a lower cost than other firms.

Call Missouri Traffic Tickets at 417-501-0653 to get help from licensed traffic lawyers in Missouri. Our office hours are Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.