Reckless Driving Is Not an Inherently Lesser-Included Offense of Felony Evading
June 17th, 2021

People v. Walker (May 6, 2021, A158423) ___ Cal.App.1st ___ [pp. 4-8] considered whether reckless driving (VC 23103) is inherently a lesser included within felony evasion of a peace officer (VC 2800.2).


Both crimes expressly require that the driving be in a, “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”


However, Walker concluded that “willful and wanton” means different things in the two statutes. The term in reckless driving means, “(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.” Felony evasion defines the term much more broadly including a list of actions that wouldn’t qualify as reckless driving such as driving an unregistered car.


Accordingly, the Court held that because felony evading doesn’t include all the elements of reckless driving, reckless driving isn’t an inherently lesser-included offense within felony evading. (Ibid.)

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