A citation or arrest for reckless driving is a serious issue. Pleading guilty could lead to license suspension, jail time, points on your license, and a fine up to $500. Most likely, there are strategies you haven't even considered. You may be able to get the charges reduced or even dismissed. It's time to stop worrying about your charges and take action.
The Traffic Law Firm is a strong and aggressive advocate for our clients. Our law firm has helped thousands of drivers protect their rights and save their license.
What is the Reckless Driving Law in Florida?
Reckless driving charges can come from a variety of illegal traffic activities. Texting while driving, overtaking a school bus with its stop sign out, and evading law enforcement can all end up with the same charge.
Reckless Driving is defined by Florida Statute 316.192 as “Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving”. Anyone in any vehicle who drives with complete disregard for the safety of others or property is guilty of reckless driving.
If a police officer believes that a motorist is putting the health and safety of others at risk, they may cite that motorist for reckless driving. The risk may come either through their negligent or unlawful behavior.
Penalties for Reckless Driving
The penalties for reckless driving in Florida are significant. Drivers will receive a heightened punishment if the defendant already has a prior reckless driving charge on their record.
If you receive a conviction or plead guilty to reckless driving in Florida, as per Florida Statutes 775.082, you will find yourself facing:
- First Conviction: Upon a first conviction, by imprisonment for a period of not more than 90 days or by a fine of no less than $25 nor more than $500, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
- Additional Convictions: On a second or subsequent conviction, by imprisonment for not more than 6 months or by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $1,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Depending on your personal driving history, a reckless driving charge could be enough to warrant the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license or increase your car insurance.
If you injure someone else in a reckless driving accident, you could also face a lawsuit. Contact an attorney immediately if you are the defendant in a reckless driving lawsuit.
How will this charge impact my license?
Reckless driving does not result in an automatic license suspension in Florida. However, if you received other ‘points’ on your license in the last 36 months, a reckless driving conviction may lead to the suspension of your license.
Under regulations from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV), reckless driving is a four-point offense. All drivers should be aware of how many points they have on their records. If you receive 12 points within 12 months—or 24 points within 36 months—your license will be suspended.
It is important to remember that other offenses often are cited along with reckless driving. Put another way; you may be facing more than 4 points for one reckless driving offense.
Reckless Driving vs. Careless Driving
Reckless driving is a second-degree criminal misdemeanor in Florida. In contrast, careless driving is a civil offense. Whereas reckless driving involves “willful or wanton” disregard for the health and well-being of others, careless driving involves failure to operate a vehicle in a “careful and prudent” manner.
If you were charged with reckless driving in Florida, it might be possible to get the offense downgraded to a careless driving charge. Indeed, in some cases, this is the best way to proceed with this type of charge. As careless driving is not a criminal offense, it does not carry any possibility of jail time.
What are you waiting for? The sooner we can get started on your defense, the better. Our team of dedicated attorneys will work hard on your case, providing you with options to resolve your reckless driving ticket.
Will a reckless driving ticket raise my auto insurance rates?
Yes, a conviction of reckless driving will raise your car insurance rate. How much your rates will go up depends on a wide variety of different factors. That said, the annual increase could be 22 percent—or more.
The insurance rate increase could be effective for years after a reckless driving conviction. Furthermore, it could cost the convicted thousands of dollars more over the long term.
How can a reckless driving lawyer help me?
Many times with our lawyers at The Traffic Law Firm can get your reckless driving charge dismissed or reduced to a civil citation. They navigate the court system as well as make sure to file all paperwork necessary. No matter what type of reckless driving charge you have, an attorney will also represent you in court, evaluate all evidence against you, and file appropriate motions.
The quicker we start your case, the sooner we have the chance to fight and dismiss your charges.