Reckless driving, as a criminal offense, can carry penalties depending on whether the incident resulted in serious bodily injury. Reckless driving is also one of the worst offenses that a driver can make in Florida and only second to a DUI charge. However, every circumstance is different and many factors determine how the law might deal with reckless driving in Florida. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the law and what you should know about the penalties associated with reckless driving in Florida.
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In Florida, reckless driving is not just a case of neglect but rather an offense which often refers to the state of mind of the particular driver. But what does this mean?
This means a lot of different things. For instance, a person driving over the speed limit is not looked upon in the same manner as a person driving over the speed limit while disregarding other traffic laws and endangering the lives of other drivers.
Laws in Florida dictate various circumstances and behavior that might constitute reckless driving. For instance, in the case of reckless driving, the driver must show wanton disregard for other drivers, pedestrians or property. Driving away from police or inciting a chase is another statute that law will use to determine reckless driving.
However, it’s not the worst-case scenario in every situation.
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Believe it or not, depending on the circumstances, reckless driving can be a positive outcome. For individuals who receive a DUI (driving under the influence) offense, it’s sometimes possible for the defense to reduce a DUI charge down to reckless driving.
If you think about the potential consequences, a person is likely to be extremely pleased to receive a reckless driving charge in place of a DUI conviction. After all, a DUI charge stays on the record for a long time. This charge is a red flag when it comes to various background checks and most insurance companies will either drop such drivers or refuse to insure them in the first place.
That said, a reckless driving charge is still not a good thing and comes with a range of penalties and consequences that you could certainly do without.
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Anyone found guilty of reckless driving in Florida on their first offense can be imprisoned for 90 days or less and fined between $25 and $500. This penalty can be raised to six months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000 for those previously charged with reckless driving. If there is damage to another persons’ property, the charge is also upgraded to a 1st degree misdemeanor and in the event of there being a serious injury to another person, this reckless driving charge is considered a first-degree felony. If any alcohol or drugs are involved, there is also the possibility of a DUI charge in addition to reckless driving and then comes every other consequence such as loss of license and increased insurance premiums at the very least.
As you can see, the consequences and implications are sever for reckless driving in Florida and for professional assistance, it’s always best to speak with an attorney.