Careless driving in one of the most common traffic citations in Florida.
According to the most recent data provided by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, state and local law enforcement officers issued nearly 200,000 careless driving tickets in 2018 alone.
If you received a careless driving ticket in Florida, you need to know how to protect your legal rights and financial interests. Unlike the majority of moving violations in Florida, which result in three points, careless driving is punishable by four points on the offender’s driver’s license.
Careless Driving in Florida: The Required
Under Florida state law (Florida Statutes § 316.1925), careless driving is defined as the operation of a vehicle without prudence or regard for the safety of others. In order to prove careless driving, the following three legal elements must be established by the state:
- The defendant was
actually operating the vehicle;
- The defendant was
not driving in a careful, prudent manner; and
- The defendant’s
careless actions endangered others.
This is a relatively broad definition. As a result, careless driving can sometimes be in the eye of the beholder. In fact, these cases are often based on the observations of a police officer.
What is the Difference Between Reckless
Driving and Careless Driving?
Many drivers confuse “reckless driving” and “careless driving”. In Florida, these are two distinct charges. Careless driving is a moving violation that is punishable by up to four points on your driving record and steep fines. Also, it’s a civil traffic violation.
In contrast, reckless driving is a criminal offense that is punishable by up to three months in jail. In general, the key difference between these two offenses is that reckless driving requires some form of intentional disregard for the health and safety of others.
Most importantly, careless driving does not require any intentional or willful misconduct on the part of the accused.
You Can Fight a Careless Driving Ticket
If you were issued a careless driving ticket, you have legal options available. Consult with an experienced Florida traffic lawyer to avoid getting four additional points on your license.
Your lawyer will be able to review the specific details of your ticket and help you determine what you should do to protect your rights. Remember, the burden of proof is always on the prosecution. Our traffic and criminal law firm has handled many cases in which Florida prosecutors lacked the reliable evidence needed to support the careless driving citation being pursued.
Get Help From Florida’s Premier Traffic
At Skubiak & Rivas, P.A., our Florida traffic defense lawyers have extensive experience handling careless driving tickets. We are ready to fight aggressively to protect your rights.
To get a free, no obligation review of your case, please contact our law firm today. From our office in Orlando, we represent clients throughout Central Florida, including in Lake Buena Vista, St. Cloud, Winter Park, and Winter Garden.