Reckless Driving Violations in Florida
Reckless Driver Defense Attorney
Driving has become a necessity in our modern world as we have grown dependent on our motor vehicles to get around for daily activities. As more and more people take on the streets in their vehicles it is not only important to be a careful driver for the sake of others but also to avoid losing our driving privileges. Reckless driving is one of the most serious offenses a driver can be charged with in the state of Florida, and it brings with it hefty consequences. These consequences could keep you from sitting behind the wheel and halt daily routines. If you have been charged with reckless driving, it is important to have a reliable attorney by your side. At 911 Biker Law, we can provide you with an Orlando traffic defense lawyer to protect your future.
What Constitutes Reckless Driving in Florida?
Under Section 316.192 of the Florida Statutes, reckless driving is defined as any person driving a motor vehicle, be it car, motorcycle, etc., in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of property or persons. The term “willful” means the action was committed intentionally, knowingly, and purposefully. “Wanton” means the person was driving the vehicle with a conscious, intentional indifference to the consequences of his/her irresponsible behavior well knowing that it could result in damage to property and/or persons. Reckless driving extends further than just negligence from the driver’s part — it speaks to their state of mind.
There is a difference, however, between reckless driving and careless driving. Simply not paying attention, misjudging a distance, traveling over the speed limit, and overall neglectful actions when driving are not enough to be charged with reckless driving. Reckless driving involves a state of mind and is often not well defined, making the criminal traffic offense difficult to prove in court. In fact, reckless driving charges are often lowered to careless driving charges. Careless driving is likely committed unintentionally and charges are much less severe, often dismissed after completing traffic school and/or a fine. Reckless driving puts others on the roadway in danger and its charges are often a combination of irresponsible behaviors such as excessive speeding, running lights, weaving through traffic, refusing to yield, tailgating, refusing to stop before collision, etc. Section 316.192 automatically considers fleeing a law enforcement officer in a motor vehicle as reckless driving.
Florida Penalties for Reckless Driving
- First Conviction: A first offense for reckless driving in the State of Florida is classified as a second degree misdemeanor. It can lead to imprisonment for a period of no more than 90 days or six months of probation. In addition to imprisonment, or instead of, there will be a fine of at least $25 and at most $500.
- Second or Subsequent Convictions: A second or subsequent offense is also classified as a second degree misdemeanor, however, it increases the penalties. The offender could face a maximum of six months in jail and/or a fine of no less than $50 and no more than $1,000.
- Property Damage & Non-Serious Injury: If the driver is charged with reckless driving and caused property damage and/or non-serious bodily injury to a person the offense will turn into a first degree misdemeanor. He/she could face up to one year in jail or 12 months of probation, and a $1,000 fine.
- Serious Bodily Injury: According to Section 316.192, the term ‘serious bodily injury’ means an injury to another person that creates a risk of death, serious disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. If there is serious bodily injury involved, the offense will turn into a third degree felony with up to five years in prison or under probation, and a $5,000 fine.
- License: A driver convicted of reckless driving can have up to four points added to their driving record. If the driver is found guilty of reckless driving three times in a single year, he/she could risk losing their license permanently.
Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Orlando, FL, Residents Trust
The consequences for a reckless driving conviction are quite severe and extend past the law’s penalties. Your insurance rates could easily double or triple, and it is not uncommon for insurance companies to even drop the offender. However, reckless driving can be difficult to prove in the court with the right, experienced attorney. At 911 Biker Law, we provide reliable motorcycle accident attorneys who will know how to best handle your case to possibly reduce your charges and penalties. Contact us today for a consultation.