Fighting a Careless Driving Ticket in Florida
Police officers in Florida routinely write tickets for careless driving. They may blame you for causing an accident or not paying attention while you're behind the wheel. A careless driving ticket is a moving violation, and a conviction could lead to fines up to $500. Receiving citation is not the equivalent of guilt in a careless driving case.
Some drivers simply pay the fine and accept points on their license. However, there are options to defend your interests.
What are the Careless Driving Laws?
A police officer could cite you for careless driving under Florida Statutes 316.1925:
- You are operating a vehicle upon any roadway in the state.
- You are not driving in a careful and prudent manner. You're considering conditions like the width of the road, curves, weather, corners, traffic, and other circumstances that may be present; and,
- Your failure to drive in a careful manner endangers the life, health, or property of someone else.
The State must present evidence to prove all three elements described above. Typically, this evidence is in the form of a narrative on the ticket, a police report, and testimony from the officer.
Of course, these sources are very subjective and highly self-serving. Police frame their description of your careless driving conduct to support their own interests in getting a conviction. As such, this evidence is subject to attack by our lawyers at The Traffic Law Firm. Our team will identify any weaknesses in the case against you. We fight on your behalf and prevent the State from meeting the standard of proof.
What are the Penalties for a Careless Driving Citation?
If you do not contest a careless driving ticket by requesting a court date, the sanctions are harsh. Depending on the circumstances and your driving record, your fine could range from $160 to $500. In addition, Florida works on a points-based system for driver’s licenses. Careless driving is four points, and it will remain on your record for three years. Accumulation of points can result in a suspension of your driving privileges.
Plus, there are other implications for a careless driving ticket. Your auto insurance rates may go up because the company may consider you a high risk. If you have a Florida Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), you could be out-of-service or even lose your job. For these reasons, it is critical to retain an experienced lawyer for careless driving tickets.
For more information regarding penalties for traffic infractions, you can view Florida Statutes Chapter 318 here.
How Should You Fight a Careless Driving Citation?
The first line of attack is to identify weaknesses in the State’s case. Always remember that the State of Florida must prove all three of the elements described above. If the prosecution cannot firmly establish all three, they will likely dismiss your careless driving ticket. The Traffic Law Firm can present evidence in your favor.
You should note that police often issue a careless driving ticket after an accident or a near-miss collision. Officers do not arrive on the scene until you call 911, so they were not there to witness your actions. Your case may fall apart due to the lack of evidence, and the ticket could be dismissed.
If you want a list of common defenses against this offense, click this link What You Should Do With a Careless Driving Ticket.
How can The Traffic Law Firm Help?
If you do not have a legal background, laws can be complex. When defending a careless driving charge, you need to get critical information and evidence before the court. The judge does not automatically have details regarding your defense unless you present them.
When hiring The Traffic Law Firm, you have experience and in-depth knowledge of the laws on your side. They will ensure that the court considers any information in your favor. We have worked with many drivers to get traffic citation fines reduced, tickets dismissed, or other positive outcomes. If we cannot work out a lowered fine, we will go to court to defend your interests.
Consult with a Traffic Lawyer Regarding Your Options
If you received a careless driving citation and want to know more about contesting it, please contact Skubiak & Rivas, the Ticket Law Firm. You can reach our Orlando office by calling 407-894-4449 or visiting our website to schedule a no-cost consultation with a lawyer for careless driving tickets. We are happy to explain your legal options after reviewing the details of your case.
Depending on the circumstances and your driving record, your fine could range from $160 to $500.
- License suspension for 30 days if you accumulate 12 points in one year;
- You could get a 90-day suspension for earning 18 points within an 18 month period; and,
- License suspension for one year if you accumulate 36 points within 36 months
1. You are operating a vehicle upon any roadway in the state.
2. You are not driving in a careful and prudent manner. You're considering conditions like the width of the road, curves, weather, corners, traffic, and other circumstances that may be present; and,
3. Your failure to drive in a careful manner endangers the life, health, or property of someone else.
Our office has an entire practice dedicated to careless driving tickets. We have worked with many clients to get their tickets dismissed, or their charges reduced.