Reckless driving is a criminal traffic offense in Florida that involves a person allegedly operating a motor vehicle in “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Motorists are usually charged with reckless driving as the result of such actions as driving at excessive speeds, disregarding posted traffic signs, or improperly passing other automobiles.
Reckless driving convictions can carry a variety of penalties for alleged offenders, including possible incarceration, fines, and even suspension of driving privileges. Police officers will frequently cite motorists in Florida for alleged reckless driving when a careless driving or simple speeding ticket would have been more appropriate.
Lawyer for Reckless Driving Arrests in Brooksville, FL
Were you arrested or issued a notice to appear in Central Florida for allegedly committing a reckless driving offense? You should not say anything to authorities without legal representation. Contact Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. as soon as possible.
Ashley Aulls is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Brooksville who represents clients accused of traffic crimes in several different communities in Sumter County, Citrus County, Hernando County, and Pasco County. You can have our lawyer review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call (352) 593-4115 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of Reckless Driving in Florida
- How is reckless driving different from careless driving?
- What are the punishments for being convicted of or pleading guilty to reckless driving?
- Where can I learn more about reckless driving in Brooksville?
Reckless driving is often used interchangeably with the offense of careless driving, but these are actually two distinct and separate charges. Florida Statute § 316.192 defines reckless driving as driving any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property, although fleeing a law enforcement officer in a motor vehicle is reckless driving per se.
Careless driving is defined under Florida Statute § 316.1925 as failure to drive a motor vehicle “in a careful and prudent manner, having regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and all other attendant circumstances, so as not to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.” Florida Statute § 316.193 establishes that a person commits the offense of aggressive careless driving if he or she commits two or more of the following acts simultaneously or in succession:
- Exceeding the posted speed limit;
- Unsafely or improperly changing lanes;
- Following another vehicle too closely;
- Failing to yield the right-of-way;
- Improperly passing; and/or
- Violating traffic control and signal devices.
Careless driving is a moving violation punishable by possible fines and/or community service. Reckless driving is a criminal traffic offense with more serious punishments.
Under Florida Statute § 316.192(2), a first reckless driving conviction not involving property damage or personal injury is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500. Second or subsequent reckless driving convictions not involving property damage or personal injury are punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
When an alleged reckless driving offense results in damage to the property or person of another, the alleged offender will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. If an alleged reckless driving offense results in serious bodily injury, defined as “an injury to another person, which consists of a physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ,” the crime is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
W.E.B. v. State, 553 So.2d 323, 325-26 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989) — A minor who had just turned age 16 and received his driver's license went out with a friend to visit friends staying at the beach. They purchased two six packs beer, with the appellant drinking three to five beers over the course of the evening. The vehicle the minor was driving collided with another vehicle being driven by a man with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.19 percent. The First District Court of Appeal held that the state failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that appellant committed the offense of vehicular homicide—noting that “vehicular homicide cannot be proven without also proving the elements of reckless driving”—and reversed the trial court’s "Order of Adjudication-Disposition," remanding the case with directions that appellant be discharged.
State v. Del Rio, 854 So. 2d 692 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003) — Richard Del Rio was charged with vehicular homicide after he turned left onto Branch Mooring Drive and fatally struck a woman who was pushing her baby in a stroller. The trial court acquitted Del Rio, “concluding that the unfortunate accident from which this charge arose was the result of negligence and careless driving but that Mr. Del Rio's actions did not meet the level of recklessness required to convict him of vehicular homicide.” The Second District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision, writing, “Mr. Del Rio was driving carelessly, but the evidence does not establish the type of recklessness required to establish a prima facie case of vehicular homicide.”
Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. | Brooksville Reckless Driving Defense Attorney
If you were issued a notice to appear or arrested for an alleged reckless driving offense in Central Florida, it will be in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. defends residents and visitors charged with this crime in Wildwood, Brooksville, Inverness, New Port Richey, Spring Hill, Weeki Wachee, and many surrounding areas of Hernando County.
Brooksville criminal defense lawyer Ashley Aulls can help you achieve the most favorable resolution to your case, including possibly having criminal charges minimized or eliminated. Call (352) 593-4115 or complete an online contact form to have our attorney provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.