2200. Reckless Driving
The defendant is charged [in Count ______] with reckless driving.
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:
1. The defendant drove a vehicle (on a highway/in an off-street parking facility);
2. The defendant intentionally drove with wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.
A person acts with wanton disregard for safety when (1) he or she is aware that his or her actions present a substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm, and (2) he or she intentionally ignores that risk. The person does not, however, have to intend to cause damage.
[If you conclude that the defendant drove faster than the legal speed limit, that fact by itself does not establish that the defendant drove with wanton disregard for safety. You may consider the defendant's speed, along with all the surrounding circumstances, in deciding whether the defendant drove with wanton disregard for safety.]
[A vehicle is a device by which people or things may be moved on a road or highway. A vehicle does not include a device that is moved only by human power or used only on stationary rails or tracks.]
[The term highway describes any area publicly maintained and open to the public for purposes of vehicular travel, and includes a street.]
[The term[s] (vehicle/ [and] highway) (is/are) defined in another instruction to which you should refer.]
[An off-street parking facility is an off-street facility open for use by the public for parking vehicles. It includes a facility open to retail customers, where no fee is charged for parking.]
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction defining the elements of the crime.
If the defendant is charged with reckless driving on a highway (Veh. Code, § 23103(a)), select the phrase "on a highway" in element 1. If the defendant is charged with reckless driving in an off-street parking facility (Veh. Code, § 23103(b)), select that phrase in element 1.
Give the bracketed paragraph that begins with "If you conclude that the defendant was driving faster than" on request if relevant based on the evidence. (People v. Nowell (1941) 45 Cal.App.2d Supp. 811, 813-814 [114 P.2d 81].)
The court must define the terms "highway" and "vehicle." Give the bracketed definitions of the terms unless the court has already given these definitions in other instructions. In such cases, the court may give the bracketed sentence stating that the terms are defined elsewhere.
Give CALCRIM No. 2241, Driver and Driving Defined, on request.
Elements. Veh. Code, § 23103(a) & (b).
Vehicle Defined. Veh. Code, § 670.
Highway Defined. Veh. Code, § 360.
Off-Street Parking Facility Defined. Veh. Code, § 12500(c).
Willful or Wanton Disregard. People v. Schumacher (1961) 194 Cal.App.2d 335, 340 [14 Cal.Rptr. 924]; People v. Young (1942) 20 Cal.2d 832, 837 [129 P.2d 353].
Gross Negligence Insufficient. People v. Allison (1951) 101 Cal.App.2d Supp. 932, 935 [226 P.2d 85].
Speeding May Constitute Recklessness Based on Circumstances. People v. Nowell (1941) 45 Cal.App.2d Supp. 811, 813-814 [114 P.2d 81].
Requires Reckless Act of Driving, Not Merely Mental State. People v. McNutt (1940) 40 Cal.App.2d Supp. 835, 838-839 [105 P.2d 657]; People v. Smith (1939) 36 Cal.App.2d Supp. 748, 751 [92 P.2d 1039].
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Crimes Against Public Peace and Welfare, § 204.
5 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 91, Sentencing, §§ 91.60[b][i], [ii], 91.81[d],  (Matthew Bender).
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 145, Narcotics and Alcohol Offenses, § 145.02 (Matthew Bender).
Offense Is a Misdemeanor, Not an Infraction
Reckless driving is a misdemeanor and may not be reduced to an infraction. (People v. Dibacco (2004) 117 Cal.App.4th Supp. 1, 4 [12 Cal.Rptr.3d 258].)
Speeding Not Necessarily Lesser Included Offense
Speeding is not a necessarily lesser included offense of reckless driving. (People v. Dibacco (2004) 117 Cal.App.4th Supp. 1, 4 [12 Cal.Rptr.3d 258].)
(New January 2006)