Reckless Driving Defense Attorneys, Laws, Charges, and Defenses in Tampa, Florida, FL
According to Florida statute section 316.192, "Reckless Driving" is defined as the willful disregard of the safety of other persons or property while driving a motor vehicle. In order to be convicted of a reckless driving criminal charge, the state must prove to evidentiary components:
The defendant was driving a motor vehicle, and
- The defendant drove the motor vehicle with a "wanton or willful disregard "for the safety of persons or property.
In the State of Florida, Wanton or Willful Conduct is Required for a Conviction
The legal term "willful" means knowingly, purposely, and intentionally. "Wanton" in this case is defined as a person Who is operating a motor vehicle with intentional indifference, fully aware, conscious of consequences, and with the understanding that damage to property or a person is likely to occur.
The Penalties for Reckless Driving in Tampa, Florida
The penalties for a reckless driving conviction in Tampa, Florida, will depend upon the driver's prior offenses and if an injury to persons or property has occurred.
First offense reckless driving without bodily injury or property damage in the state of Florida is a second-degree misdemeanor, with penalties including up to 90 days in jail or six months of probation plus a $500 fine.
A second or subsequent reckless driving is a second-degree misdemeanor. The penalties in a second-degree misdemeanor reckless driving charge include a maximum jail sentence of six months plus a five up to $1000.
Reckless driving with property damage or personal injury is a first-degree misdemeanor which is punished with up to five years in prison or five years probation plus a $5,000 fine.
Reckless driving with serious bodily injury is a third-degree felony that is punished with up to five years in prison or five years of probation plus a $5000 fine.
Potential Defenses to a Reckless Driving Charge in Tampa, Florida
The following are a few potential criminal defenses is to be a reckless driving charge in Tampa, Florida:
- Mistaken identity.
- The defendant was not driving the vehicle.
- The defendant's actions were careless but didn't meet the legal standard in Florida for reckless driving.
- There were no property or people close enough to in danger.
- The defendant did not act intentionally. (Suffering a medical emergency)
- Witnesses contradict allegations posed by the prosecution.
In the state of Florida, speeding alone does not constitute reckless driving
According to Florida criminal code, excessive speeding alone is not enough to bring a reckless driving conviction. This is a common citation that may be thrown out of court when properly defended. However, if the speed was deemed "grossly excessive, "a reckless driving charge might go to trial. Florida court presidents have deemed speeding that is double the post speed limit as "grossly excessive."
Driving violations often combined with speeding to bring a reckless driving charge in Tampa, Florida
- Illegal passing.
- Street racing.
- Ignoring traffic control devices.
- No attempt to decelerate prior to an accident.
- Driving recklessly around children or pedestrians.
How Reckless Driving Effects Your Florida Driver's License (points)
In the state of Florida, a reckless driving conviction adds four points to your Florida driver's license. If a driver in Florida accrues 12 or more points within one year, the driver's license is automatically suspended for 30 days. Points are added to the driver's license on the date of the traffic offense. If a Florida driver receives an out-of-state traffic violation and is found guilty, points will be added to the driver's Florida license. It's important to understand that some states do not report always report offenses to the state in which the driver's license was issued. The state of Florida, if a Florida driver is convicted of three reckless driving offenses within a 12 month period, that driver may permanently lose their driver's license in Florida.
The Top Reasons to Fight a Reckless Driving Charge in Tampa, Florida
Reckless driving charges on your criminal record can be one of the most damaging driving offenses to one's reputation. When applying for jobs, employers will often see reckless driving charges on the applicant's criminal record and deem the applicant to have bad character. This is because reckless driving goes beyond simple carelessness since others often believe the driver puts others' lives and property at risk. A reckless driving criminal charge will often prevent job opportunities.
Reckless driving convictions are often felt lifelong. For example, a person who has a reckless driving conviction on their record will pay a substantially higher insurance premium for auto accident insurance coverage. In some cases, Drivers will pay double or even triple their previous auto insurance rate. Drivers convicted of reckless driving also find it difficult to find an insurance company that is willing to insure them after the driver has received such a serious driving offense as reckless driving. In addition, an auto accident Sherance company may terminate a driver's policy after they've been convicted of reckless driving.
Speak with a Qualified Reckless Driving Attorney in Tampa, Florida, Today!
If you are facing a criminal charge of reckless driving, Dui, hit and run, street racing, or any other serious criminal offense, it is essential that you rigorously defend yourself to potentially avoid a permanent criminal record. Contact Musca Law for help on beating your reckless driving charges. Our firm offers a free consultation by telephone at (813) 362-5623, or you can visit us at our local law office located at 625 E. Twiggs St, Suite 1000, Unit 117, Tampa, FL 33602.
625 E Twiggs St Suite 1000 Unit 117, Tampa, FL 33602
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