Although traffic offenses seem minor, some can result in criminal charges, such as reckless driving. This means the offense, although it is traffic, could be punishable by jail time, fines and other court-issued punishments. Additionally, this could mean a first-time offender now would have the burden of a criminal record.
A person can be charged with reckless driving for a variety of reasons, all depending on how the driver handled and operated the vehicle. Additionally, a law enforcement officer could charge a person with the crime even if he or she did not wreck or cause an accident. Reckless driving charges could apply simply if the driver placed others in possible danger.
St. Petersburg Reckless Driving Attorney
Traffic violations can have a serious impact on not only your driving record but your criminal record. It is important to fight the charges and avoid a conviction to protect your future. If you have been arrested for reckless driving, contact a reckless driving defense lawyer at Morris Law Firm, P.A..
Our attorneys understand how stressful criminal charges can be, and they will work with you to protect your record. Morris Law Firm, P.A. has worked with clients like you and they know how important it is to avoid accumulating driving points and traffic school, all while keeping your insurance rates down.
Morris Law Firm, P.A. represents clients throughout the Tampa Bay area, including St. Petersburg, Bartow, New Port Richey, Dade City, Plant City, Clearwater and other surrounding areas. Call (727) 388-4736 to schedule a free consultation.
Information About Reckless Driving
- What is Reckless Driving?
- Reckless Driving with Property Damage
- Careless Driving Charges
- Penalties for Reckless Driving
Under Florida Statute 316.192, reckless driving is defined as anyone who drives a car, truck or another vehicle with a complete disregard for the safety of other individuals on the road. This statute is subjective and broad in order to encompass a great deal of driving behaviors that can be considered “reckless” by law enforcement.
Some instances in which a person could be stopped for reckless driving include:
- Driving at excessive speeds
- Changing lanes quickly
- Ignoring weather warnings, such as ice on roads
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Failing to use traffic signals
- Failing to yield
- Disregarding traffic signals
Fleeing from a law enforcement officer in a car or another type of motor vehicle automatically is considered reckless driving. You do not even have to engage in a high-speed chase. As soon as the officer alerts you to stop and you continue to drive, it can be considered fleeing from a law enforcement officer.
When a person is involved in a crash that causes damage to another person’s property during the commission of the reckless driving, he or she can be convicted of a more serious reckless driving offense. For instance, if a person is changing lanes quickly and swipes another vehicle, he or she could face more severe charges.
Additionally, if a person causes property damage as a result of an accident, law enforcement officers can investigate to determine if the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Toxicology samples can be taken to determine if a person was intoxicated. This could lead to DUI charges as well.
Similar to reckless driving, a person can be charged with careless driving if he or she fails to operate a vehicle in a careful and prudent manner, according to Florida Statute § 316.1926. This offense typically can result in less serious penalties.
To earn a conviction for reckless driving, prosecutors must prove the driver acted intentionally and without disregard. For instance, if a driver was traveling more than 30 miles over the speed limit, prosecutors could argue he or she acted intentionally.
If a driver was traveling 10 miles over the speed limit, it could be argued that he or she did not intend to travel at a high or unsafe speed. If the state prosecutor is unable to show the alleged offender acted intentionally, the prosecutor could seek careless driving charges.
Careless driving is another traffic violation or moving violation that can result in fines, community service or both. The attorneys at Morris Law Firm, P.A. can work with you to fight to have your charges reduced or dropped.
Reckless driving penalties can vary based on whether or not there was property damage, whether there was bodily injury caused to another person and the driver’s history of reckless driving offenses. The penalties for a first offense would not be as harsh as a second offense.
- Reckless driving — First offense
- $25 to $500 fine
- Up to 90 days imprisonment
- Four points on your driver’s license
- Possible six months probation
- Reckless Driving — Second offense
- $50 to $1,000 fine
- Up to six months imprisonment
- Impounding of your vehicle
- Possible six months probation
- Reckless Driving with property damage (first-degree misdemeanor)
- Maximum of $1,000 fine
- Up to one-year imprisonment
- Reckless Driving with bodily injury to an individual (third-degree felony)
- $5,000 fine
- Up to five years imprisonment
In addition to criminal penalties, there could be civil repercussions for reckless driving with property damage or bodily injury. The victim could obtain a personal injury attorney and file a civil suit to college damages for the property or injuries.
Finding A Pinellas County Reckless Driving Defense Lawyer
If you have been arrested for reckless driving, contact a St. Petersburg reckless driving defense attorney at Morris Law Firm, P.A.. Our attorneys will use their years of experience to fight to have your charges reduced or dropped. Call (727) 388-4736 to schedule a free consultation and begin building a strong defense in your case.