Fighting Reckless Driving Charges In Florida
If you have been charged with reckless driving in Florida, you may think that it is nothing to write home about. Many people believe that reckless driving is no more serious than a speeding ticket, and are prepared to just accept it. However, reckless driving is not the same as a speeding ticket. A speeding ticket is a civil offense, whereas reckless driving is a criminal offense. That is right; a reckless driving conviction will actually result in the creation of a criminal record if you do not already have one. Additionally, the penalties can be quite severe. It is important to take these charges seriously and do everything in your power to fight them. Generally, the most effective way to fight reckless driving charges is to hire an attorney as soon as possible after you are charged. A Florida criminal defense attorney can work to get your charges dropped or reduced to a civil charge that does not carry criminal consequences. The sooner that you contact one, the sooner they can begin working toward a positive outcome in your case.
What is Reckless Driving in Florida?
Reckless driving is not any one specific thing, which can lead to confusion when you are charged. Whereas speeding violations obviously occur when a motorist is driving over the speed limit, there are a number of ways that reckless driving can occur. Essentially, any time a driver operates a vehicle with willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others. The willful component of this is important. This means that the driver must have intentionally been driving in a reckless manner. While the driver does not need intent to have caused harm to another person, they must have intentionally been driving fast or recklessly. For instance, if someone lost control of their vehicle due to a defect with the steering or breaks, they would not be guilty of reckless driving because it was not intentional. This can be important when it comes time to mount your defense. Reckless driving can include things like speeding, running a red light, cutting off other drivers, illegally passing, swerving, or anything else that demonstrates disregard for the safety of others.