Reckless driving is a criminal driving offenseleft to the subjective opinion of the arresting or citing officer. Due to this fact, it is often a charge that is very good for trial, allowing a jury of your peers to decide whether or not you were driving in a reckless fashion. This charge is defined in simple terms in Florida Statute 316.192 as driving a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others or their property. Should one flee from law enforcement after an attempt to detain them they have committed reckless driving per se. “Per se” in this context means that the simple act of fleeing is inherently reckless. Further penalties for attempting to flee could be a felony charge of fleeing to elude. Regardless of there being more serious charges on the books, this charge is not something to take lightly as it is a crime that traditionally has annoyed Judges and Prosecutors. An allegation of this crime could result in jail, probation, and 4 points on your driving record leading to an increase in your insurance premium. Our criminal lawyers have had tremendous success in reducing this driving charge to a careless driving citation or an aggressive careless driving citation.PROVING RECKLESS DRIVING AGAINST YOU
As mentioned above, Jason Mayberry feels this charge can often be very difficult for the State Attorney’s Office to prove. In order for the State Attorney to prove this charge they must show:
You drove a vehicle in Florida, and;
You did so with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.
Ok, so what does this mean? Defined, willful means “intentionally, knowingly, or purposefully.” Wanton means that you drove with a conscious and intentional indifference to any possible consequences and that you knew damage is likely to be done to persons or property. Stated otherwise, in order for the criminal elements to be met the State would have to show that were driving so crazy that you assumed someone or something was going to get hurt or damaged and just didn’t care. Rarely does an individual do this and we believe proving your state of mind to be “willful and wanton” while driving is extremely difficult.PENALTIES
First Conviction- Up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Second Conviction- Up to 180 days in jail and a $1000 fine.
Reckless Driving with Damage- Up to 180 days in jail and a $1000 fine.
Reckless Driving with Serious Injury to Another- Third Degree Felony punishable by up to 5 years in the Florida Department of Corrections and a $5,000 fine. For any level of a reckless driving offense if a Judge has reason to believe that alcohol or impairing drugs are involved in the offense, you will be ordered to complete a DUI substance education course and any recommended treatment thereafter. Failure to complete the recommended treatment could result in a suspended license.HOW CAN WE HELP?
Sometimes all you need is someone working for you so the State knows they can’t push you around. Our criminal attorneys have a great tradition of beating this charge for our clients and are eager to do the same for you. If you’ve been charged with reckless driving in Tampa or the Tampa Bay area contact Jason Mayberry today at 813-444-7435.