Many Minnesotans will find themselves on the side of the road this winter with their flashers on having just been in a fender bender.  Unfortunately, the hassle of getting your car repaired may not be the only thing you have to deal with.  You may receive a citation for failing to drive with due care.

Minnesota Statute 169.14, subdivision 1 states:

No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions. Every driver is responsible for becoming and remaining aware of the actual and potential hazards then existing on the highway and must use due care in operating a vehicle. In every event speed shall be so restricted as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle or other conveyance on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.

So what does that mean?  Minnesota Statute 169.14, subdivision 1 is basically a catch-all for any offensive driving conduct.  If you get into an accident, someone must have failed to “drive with due care,” else there would not have been an accident.

These types of citations are typically charged as a petty misdemeanor, which means a maximum fine of $300.  If there is property damage involved, it will be charged as a misdemeanor, which means a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail.   Duty to drive with due care violations are considered moving violations.  If you are convicted of three misdemeanor/gross misdemeanor moving violations within 12 months you face having your license revoked for 30 days.  The revocation periods increase with each additional conviction.

With so much on the line—not to mention increased insurance premiums—it’s important to know your options.  Simply paying the ticket means you will stand convicted of the offense.  There are other possibilities that could keep these sorts of charges off your record.  If you are charged with failing to  drive with due care, give Migala Law Office a call.