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.
The penalties for the charge can be serious - with
Still, some drivers simply pay the fine and accept points on their license.
However, there are options to defend your interests.
The best strategy starts by retaining a Florida traffic driving ticket lawyer who focuses on these cases.
The team at Skubiak & Rivas, P.A. contest all types of citations. which is why people know us as the Ticket Law Firm. Please contact our office today to schedule a free consultation and learn the advantages of hiring a lawyer for careless driving tickets.
How Florida’s Careless Driving Laws Work
A police officer could cite you for careless driving under Florida law if:
- You are operating a vehicle upon any roadway in the state;
Youare 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.
A careless driving ticket is a moving violation, and a conviction could lead to fines and other sanctions. Still, a citation is not the equivalent of guilt in a careless driving case. The prosecuting attorney 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 your lawyer. Our team will identify any weaknesses in the case against you. We fight on your behalf and prevent the prosecutor from meeting the standard of proof.
Penalties for Violations of Careless Driving Laws
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, so:
- License supsension 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 suspsension for one year if you accumulate 36 points within 36 months.
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.
How to Fight a Careless Driving Ticket
The first line of attack is to identify weaknesses in the prosecutor’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. You will have a second chance to defend your case after the prosecuting attorney rests. Your careless driving ticket attorney can present evidence in your favor, such as:
- Facts showing that you were driving prudently and with proper caution under the circumstances; or,
- Proof that you did not endanger anyone else’s life or property, because there were no passengers, no other cars, and nothing nearby to damage.
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 should be dismissed.
What to Look for in a Florida Careless Driving Ticket Lawyer
If you do not have a legal background, laws can be complex. When defending a careless driving charge, you need to get critical information before the court. The judge does not automatically have details regarding your defense unless you present them.
You need a Florida traffic ticket lawyer with experience and in-depth knowledge of the laws. They will ensure that the court considers any information in your favor.
In addition, you should look for an attorney that primarily deals with traffic citations and crimes. Skubiak & Rivas, P.A. have earned our name, the Ticket Law Firm. It comes from dedication to clients dealing with moving, non-moving, and criminal violations.
Our office has an entire practice group committed to helping people fight careless driving, speeding, and other ticket cases. 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 Florida Careless Driving Ticket 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.