Reckless Driving Charges in Florida
Every state has laws and statutes pertaining to reckless driving. In the state of Florida, statutes for reckless driving were revised in 2012 by the Florida State Legislature and they are available for public viewing at any time. What do these statutes and laws mean to the everyday driver? They do not mean much unless the driver makes bad decisions, is enticed into participating in an unlawful race, or if the driver makes attempts to outrun police officers during a chase in their vehicle.
What are the Florida statutes for reckless driving?
According to the Florida State Legislature, reckless driving is defined as, “Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.” The Legislature has also made note of the fact that reckless driving does include drivers who are trying to use their vehicle to out run a police officer in pursuit.
What are the penalties for reckless driving under the Florida state statutes?
Each penalty is delineated by how many previous offenses have occurred and punishment is based upon these records. For example, if this is the driver’s first offense, they face the following penalties:
-Up to 90 days imprisonment
-Fines ranging between $25 and $500 in total
-Both fines and imprisonment
If this is the driver’s second offense, they could face the following penalties:
-Up to six months imprisonment
-Fines ranging between $50 and $1,000 in total
-Both fines and imprisonment
What type of traffic infractions can result in being charged with reckless driving?
Reckless driving in the state of Florida is considered a misdemeanor traffic offense. According to FindLaw.com, “Misdemeanors are less serious crimes, generally punishable by a fine or incarceration in the county jail for less than one year.” The reason reckless driving is categorized as a misdemeanor violation is because this offense holds lower fines and lesser incarceration periods. As with non-traffic related misdemeanor crimes, the offender is immediately brought into custody where they have the opportunity to have a bail bond posted.
What the possible defenses are to a reckless driving charge?
For those who have just been charged with reckless driving, the first thing they should do is hire a Reckless Driving Lawyer. That way, the offender has a greater chance of beating or reducing these charges. A Reckless Driving Lawyer can help offenders reduce or eliminate the payments of fines, reduce their period of incarceration, and help keep this misdemeanor violation from appearing on the driver’s permanent record.
Some possible defenses for a reckless driving charge include:
-Gathering witness testimony from experts and witnesses and submitting it to the judge stating that the driver is was not guilty of driving in a reckless manner.
-Creating an argument stating that, at the time of the arrest, the driver should not have had the incident classified as reckless driving.
-Building up proof that, when the state gathered evidence against the driver, they did so in an improper manner and this evidence should be dismissed from the driver’s case.
The Reckless Driving Defense case changes significantly for those drivers who enter a guilty plea for Reckless Driving Charge in Florida. In Reckless Driving Defense cases such as these, the lawyer will approach the situation in the following manner:
-The lawyer will try negotiating a plea deal with the judge: this plea deal could include the reduction of fines, as well as the reduction of jail time.
-The lawyer will attempt to have the charges against the driver reduced.
What are the ramifications of a reckless driving conviction on your insurance and any commercial driver’s licenses?
As with any other traffic infraction or driving conviction, the driver faces an increase in their insurance. In some cases, the driver may lose their insurance completely. How this situation is handled varies from insurance agency to insurance agency, as well as on the driver’s previous driving record and insurance claims.
In regards to a CDL Driver, reckless driving is a violation that will result in the disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle. The driver will be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of 60 days if such convictions result in the suspension, revocation, or cancellation of the license holder’s driving privilege.
Are there situations where a reckless driving charge could be beneficial?
As frustrating as a misdemeanor traffic violation is, especially if the driver already holds a criminal record for other traffic violations, there are situations where a reckless driving charge is beneficial. Take, for example, when a driver is attempting to beat charges for driving under the influence (DUI). A DUI conviction carries mandatory penalties in the state of Florida, whereas reckless driving charges do not.
The primary reason why lawyers try to reduce charges from a first degree misdemeanor for a DUI to a second degree misdemeanor for reckless driving is because the fines are lower, the period of incarceration time is reduced, and the driver’s vehicle will not be impounded. The driver will also not be required to attend traffic school, as with a DUI conviction. Therefore, fighting for this lesser charge is beneficial to the driver.
If you have been charged with reckless driving in Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota, or anywhere in the state of Florida it is important that you hire a reckless driving lawyer who has experience dealing with these kinds of cases. The reckless driving defense attorneys at Finebloom & Haenel handle numerous reckless driving cases every year. Give our office a call and speak to one of our aggressive Lawyers for a free case evaluation.