Q: Can you be charged with careless driving in a private parking lot?
I accidentally hit a pedestrian in a parking lot while driving approximately 13 mph. I was simply not paying attention to the road because of fatigue. The pedestrian suffered a fractured ankle. I was charged with reckless driving under the New Mexico Statute, however I do not think that reckless driving is the appropriate charge. If the charge is amended to careless driving under the New Mexico Statute, can I still be convicted of it even though it occurred on private property?
Careless driving does not apply in a parking lot. Reckless, however, can be committed in a parking lot. Reckless has a higher “mens rea” or intent element, meaning simply being negligent will not suffice. It also carries mandatory jail. This is a serious offense. You should consult with an experienced traffic lawyer.
-Glenn Smith Valdez
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