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Reckless Driving

Reckless Driving in Florida means driving a motor vehicle without regard to your surroundings and the danger that you could potentially cause.

Unlike most hit and run situations, reckless driving violations do not always include property damage or personal injury. Most often, when a person speeds or disobeys traffic signs, it is because of rushing. In these kinds of situations, reckless driving charges are the last thing on the driver’s mind, but when these unfortunate situations do occur having an experienced criminal defense attorney will help.

Moreover, fleeing from law enforcement is considered “per se” reckless driving. Reckless driving per se means that if you were found to have been fleeing law enforcement, then a jury may automatically presume that your driving was reckless. 

Attorney for Reckless Driving in Pensacola, FL

John Terrezza has devoted his entire career to criminal defense. John Terrezza has defended clients against criminal charges in reckless driving cases in Pensacola in Escambia County and Milton in Santa Rosa County, Florida. Terrezza is also admitted to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida and takes criminal cases in federal court.

If you have had the misfortune of being charged with Reckless Driving, call a lawyer who will fight against fines or jail time. John Terrezza’s office is conveniently located on Garden St. in Downtown Pensacola.

Call (850) 764-5291 to schedule an appointment, or go online for a free evaluation of your case.

Reckless Driving under Florida Statute §316.192

The State might allege reckless driving even if there was no actual accident. Florida Statute §316.192 provides that Reckless Driving occurs when a person drives their vehicle with reckless disregard for the safety of others and the surrounding property.

When the conviction is a first offense, the penalty for reckless driving is up to ninety (90) days in jail and up to a $500 fine.

Upon a second conviction, the sentence is up to six (6) months in jail and up to $1,000 fines.

Driving Record and Reckless Driving

Your driving record may also be affected by a reckless driving conviction. Pleading guilty and paying the penalty for reckless driving puts four (4) points on your Florida driving record. The DMV has suggested that it will not remove points for pleading guilty. 

The consequences of reckless driving become a lot more severe when a defendant’s reckless driving causes harm to another person or property.

Misdemeanor Reckless Driving occurs when reckless driving causes damage to property. The charge is a first-degree misdemeanor. Misdemeanor reckless driving carries a penalty of up to one year in prison and fines of up to $1,000.

Felony Reckless Driving occurs when reckless driving causes serious bodily injury. Here the defendant commits a third-degree felony. The penalties for which are five (5) years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.

Moreover, a reckless driving conviction along with alcohol consumption creates a different set of potential issues. If the court has reason to believe that alcohol or drug use was involved, the court will require a defendant to complete a DUI substance abuse education course and evaluation. A different name for this violation is “Wet Reckless” plea bargain.

“Wet Reckless” in Florida allows an individual convicted of reckless driving, with the use of alcohol or drugs, to avoid a DUI (driving under the influence) charge. Wet reckless is a second-degree misdemeanor, which may include penalties of up to sixty (60) days in jail or $500 fines.

Civil Liability for Reckless Driving - If a defendant has been convicted of reckless driving and causes damage to another’s property, the defendant may be subject to civil liability for that damage.

Elements of Careless Driving Defined by Florida Statute §316.1925

Furthermore, while people often confuse reckless driving, with careless driving, there is a significant difference between the two. Reckless driving under Florida Statute §316.192 carries criminal liability. Careless driving, on the other hand, is the civil counterpart.

Florida Statute §316.1925 explains that any person driving on the highways or streets of the State of Florida shall drive in a reasonably prudent manner, with regard to the nature of the streets, traffic, etc…, so that the driver does not cause injury to others or property damage. Careless driving is considered a moving violation.

The Florida Motor Vehicle, Chapter 318, outlines the violations for careless driving. Penalties for non-criminal careless driving violations are monetary fines.

 Additional Resources

Florida Statute §316.192 –Visit Online Sunshine, the official site of the Florida Legislature for the full statutory language of reckless driving. The website includes the elements and penalties associated with reckless driving.

“Can I Plead to ‘Wet Reckless’ in Florida” – Visit DrivingLaws.org for more information on the definition of “wet reckless driving” and for information on what the charges are in Florida.

Traffic Points Violations – Visit DMV Florida.org for more information on the points that different kinds of moving violations add to your Florida driver’s license. Florida DMV.org is a private organization designed to provide Florida residents with more information about traffic laws.

Reckless Driving Attorney in Escambia County, FL

Being charged with reckless driving or any other criminal traffic offenses could have substantial consequences on your ability to drive on Florida highways. Contact Attorney John Terrezza, an experienced criminal defense lawyer, to aid you in your fight against a reckless driving violation in Florida.

The firm is conveniently located in on Garden St. in Downtown Pensacola.

Call (850) 764-5291 to discuss the case with John Terrezza. During the consultation, you can learn more about the elements of the reckless driving, the potential penalties, and the best defenses available for fighting the criminal prosecution.

This article was last updated on Monday, December 12, 2016.