A citation or arrest for reckless driving is a serious issue.
Pleading guilty could lead to a hefty fine, points on your license, and even jail time.
But you have options. Before heading to court, you need to talk to a Florida traffic ticket lawyer for help with your case.
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. At Skubiak & Rivas, P.A., our Orlando, FL reckless driving lawyers are strong and aggressive advocates for our clients. Our law firm has helped thousands of drivers protect their rights and save their license. We offer free consultations, and we're happy to talk about your case with you.
What is Reckless Driving 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”.
In effect, reckless driving is somewhat of a ‘catch-all’ offense in Florida. 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. Reckless Driving carries serious consequences and you should consult a traffic lawyer before your court date.
Penalties for Reckless Driving
The penalties for reckless driving in Florida are often significant. Like many other offenses in the state, drivers will receive a heightened punishment if the defendant already has a prior reckless driving charge on their record.
If you receive a conviction of or plead guilty to reckless driving in Florida, 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
Of course, a reckless driving conviction can come with other consequences, as well. Aside from paying fines and potential jail time, your insurance rate may increase for this infraction. We recommend seeking defense immediately.
Further, depending on your personal driving history, a reckless driving charge could be enough to warrant the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. If you or your loved one received a charge of reckless driving in Orlando, we recommend seeking help from an experienced traffic defense attorney immediately.
Reckless Driving is a Four Point Offense
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
Remember, reckless driving is a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida. In other words, it is a criminal traffic offense. 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 reckless driving is not a criminal offense, it does not carry any possibility of jail time.
Talk to the Experienced Reckless Driving Lawyers at Skubiak & Rivas, P.A. Today
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.
We make your best interests a priority. We know everyone has their own story - and we understand that charges like this weigh heavily on your mind. In most cases, we can get your charges reduced or even get your case dropped.
Consultations are free, so let's talk today. Call 407-894-4449. With a law office located in Orlando, we handle reckless driving cases throughout Central Florida, including in Orange County, Osceola County, Seminole County, and Lake County.
Reckless Driving in Florida: Frequently Asked Questions
You can face jail time or pay a fine depending on your ticket. Jail time could be as much as 90 days and your fine could be as much as $500.
Jail time or having to pay a fine are common penalties depending on your ticket. Exact penalties are laid out in Florida Statutes 316.192. If you have multiple offenses for reckless driving, those penalties could significantly increase.
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.
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.
A lawyer can help those accused of reckless driving get their charges dismissed or reduced.
Many times with a reckless driving lawyer you can get your ticket dismissed or your charges reduced. Contact us today. The quicker we start your case, the sooner we have the chance to dismiss or reduce your charges.
There are several other ways a lawyer can help you. 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, negotiate a plea bargain, and possibly lower the penalties on the ticket.
If you are driving with a willful or wanton disregard that jeopardizes the safety of others you can get a reckless driving ticket in Florida.
Florida Statutes 316.192 essentially states that anyone in any vehicle who drives with complete disregard for the safety of others or property is guilty of reckless driving. The statutes further make clear that fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle is reckless driving.
If someone isn't following the rules of the road in Florida, they might be committing a reckless driving offense. Contact us today if you have been injured by or accused of reckless driving.
Yes, paying a reckless driving ticket can raise your car insurance rates. 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. Before you plead guilty to reckless
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. An attorney can help reduce or dismiss your charges.