CALCRIM No. 2200. Reckless Driving (Veh. Code, § 23103(a) & (b))
Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2020 edition)Download PDF
D. RECKLESS DRIVING AND SPEED CONTEST
2200.Reckless Driving (Veh. Code, § 23103(a) & (b))
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with reckless driving [in
violation of Vehicle Code section 23103].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
1. The defendant drove a vehicle (on a highway/in an off-street
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.]
New January 2006; Revised August 2013
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction defining the elements of the
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.
If the People allege that defendant violated Vehicle Code section 23105(b) in
committing this crime, give CALCRIM No. 3223, Reckless Driving With Specified
Injury, in addition to this instruction.
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
• 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].
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].)
CALCRIM No. 2200 VEHICLE OFFENSES
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against Public
Peace and Welfare, § 271.
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).
VEHICLE OFFENSES CALCRIM No. 2200