In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 23, 29-year-old rapper YG was cited for reckless driving in West Hollywood. Upon being pulled over, police conducted a DUI investigation, though it didn’t result in an arrest.
Bystanders claim the rapper was “swarmed by deputies” after being pulled over, and that the situation was tense, and the rapper became uncooperative with police and was subsequently handcuffed. YG was heard shouting expletives at police who he claimed were “riling up the crowd.”
Reckless driving is covered under California Vehicle Code 23103 VC and is described as driving on a highway or in an off-street parking facility with a wanton disregard for people and/or property. For the purposes of California Law, a “highway” is considered any street that is publicly maintained and open to the public for the purpose of vehicular travel. An “off-street parking facility” is any parking area open for use by the public for parking vehicles, including publicly owned facilities and privately owned facilities open to retail customers where no fee is charged for parking.
When a person is acting with “wanton disregard” for safety, they are aware that their actions present a substantial and unjustifiable risk of damage or harm, and the person intentionally ignores that risk. Basically, if you’re doing something you know could get someone else hurt, or their property damaged, and you do it anyway, you’re acting with “wanton disregard” for safety.
Typically, reckless driving is a misdemeanor in California, with the possible penalties including five to 90 days in county jail, and/or a fine of between $145 and $1000. However, under certain circumstances, the penalties can be significantly harsher, and the crime itself can be upgraded to a felony. For example, if, while driving recklessly, a third party receives a minor injury, the potential penalty is increased to 30 days to one year in jail and/or a fine of between $220 and $1000.
When someone other than the driver is injured as a result of reckless driving, the crime becomes a “wobbler” that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal history. When charged as a felony, the possible penalties include up to three years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. If someone is killed as a result of reckless driving, it’s possible that the charge will be upgraded to vehicular manslaughter or even second-degree murder. If charged with vehicular manslaughter, the punishments include up to six years in California state prison. For second-degree murder, it’s 15 years to life.