Florida Reckless Driving Informational Article

There are certain offenses that no driver wants on their record. Outside of a DUI or DWI offense, reckless driving is probably the most negative offense that a driver can obtain in Florida or any other state. There are a number of circumstances that can contribute to a person receiving a reckless driving offense in Florida and a number of hefty consequences and costs that go along with it. It’s important to take all of these factors into consideration before you get behind the wheel of your car so that you save yourself from loads of headaches down the road.

What constitutes Reckless Driving in the State of Florida?

Throughout Florida and many other states, reckless driving is one of the absolute worst moving violations a person can be charged with. It is the peak violation in the line of many lesser offenses, such as careless driving and improper driving. The nature of the offense speaks to the state of mind of the person driving and extends further than simple neglect. For instance, a person driving over the speed limit will get leeway to a certain degree, but a person doing it in such a manner that blatantly disregards traffic laws and the lives of the driver and other drivers is typically referred to as reckless driving. This can take place for a number of reasons and conditions and different states outline the conditions that specify an offense as reckless driving.

In Florida, the law clearly dictates a number of circumstances that constitute reckless driving. In many situations, the driver must exhibit “wanton disregard” for property and safety of other drivers or pedestrians. Another statute stipulates that driving away from law enforcement or leading them on a chase automatically constitutes a reckless driving offense.

What are the Penalties for Reckless Driving in Florida?

The same statutes of law regarding reckless driving state that anybody who is charged and found guilty of reckless driving on their first offense will be punished with a penalty of no more than 90 days in jail, in addition to a fine of at least $25 and at most $500. If a person gets another reckless driving offense after the initial one, they are subject to a jail sentence of at most six months and a fine of at least $50 and at most $5,000.

To take it a step further, for a person who receives a reckless driving charge that ends in any type of damage to a person’s property, the charge is upgraded to a first degree misdemeanor. If they cause any type of serious injury to another person during the reckless driving, the charge will have the case upgraded to a third degree felony. Serious injury is defined as an injury that puts a person in serious risk of dying, maiming or the loss of any type of bodily function or organ. If these charges are carried out when the driver is under the influence of alcohol, drugs or any other type of illegal substance outlined within the statute, the offender will also be slapped with a DUI and ordered to complete a variety of DUI and substance abuse programs as outlined by the courts.

In addition to legal ramifications, a person convicted of reckless driving will also have to deal with the consequences from their insurance company. Insurance companies treat reckless driving offenses with the utmost seriousness, and a person can almost guarantee that their rates will go up. It’s not uncommon to see your insurance premiums double or triple following a reckless driving offense. Many insurance companies will even opt to drop the coverage of a driver convicted of a serious reckless driving charge.

In Which Situations is a Reckless Driving Charge Beneficial?

Now that the worst possible scenarios are out of the way, it’s important to remember that reckless driving can surprisingly be a positive situation in some circumstances. For instance, those who get DUI offenses will most likely look to fight the case and use the best possible defense to do this. If an attorney wins the favor of a judge, getting the case thrown out isn’t likely, but it is possible to get the charge reduced. In the state of Florida, the most that a DUI can be reduced to is a reckless driving charge. A person who receives a DUI should be ecstatic to get this charge reduced by any means, because DUIs carry much heftier consequences than a reckless driving offense.

For instance, a reckless driving charge stays on a person’s record longer and can bring red flags in any situation where background checks are conducted. Many insurance companies will drop drivers from their plans following a DUI offense, and drivers are subject to penalties such as having to blow into an ignition interlock device in order to start their cars. They also must participate in DUI and substance abuse programs and deal with suspended or revoked licenses. A DUI offense can prevent a person from receiving employment, funding and financial aid for a loan and apartment rentals throughout the state of Florida. When these options are weighed out in this manner, a downgrade to a reckless driving charge is the much better outcome.

Hiring an Attorney to Fight the Case

Fighting a reckless driving charge is something that a person should leave to experienced professionals. There are numerous Florida traffic attorneys who know and understand the ins and outs of the legal system and can give you the best chance of having your charges reduced, or to receive the least-harsh penalty. A quality reckless driving lawyer can have the charges reduced to a regular speeding charge, which can be paid along with court costs, or even removed from your permanent record under the stipulation that you complete a driver’s improvement course. In many situations, half the battle is showing up with an attorney, providing a professional front. These attorneys will take the stipulations of your case and put together the best case for a positive outcome. Get in touch with an attorney if you ever find yourself facing these charges. Please visit http://www.fightyourcase.com for more information about these charges.

[Back to Virginia Reckless Driving Lawyer]