Reckless driving is a broad term used to describe driving in an unreasonable or dangerous manner. It could involve driving too quickly considering the conditions or other careless behavior. In North Port, FL., reckless driving is considered a very serious offense and could result in severe penalties.
If you are accused of reckless driving in North Port or elsewhere in Florida, then you should seek advice from a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. At The Law Place, we have over 75 years of collective experience defending traffic offenses in Florida. We offer everyone a free, no-obligation consultation so that you can seek some initial advice and be confident in your next steps.
We take the responsibility of supporting our clients seriously, which is why we ensure that our phone lines are always open. That way, you can seek help when you need it.
Call us today at (941) 444-4444 and secure support for your case.
Rules of the Road in North Port, FL.
When driving on Florida’s roads, you automatically assume a duty of care to those around you. That means that you have a responsibility to act in a reasonable manner to keep those around you safe. This duty of care extends to all road users, including other drivers, pedestrians, and even people in your own vehicle.
If you break the rules of the road or act dangerously considering the conditions, i.e., driving quickly when the road is icy, then you could be charged with reckless driving.
Even if you do not cause harm to anyone, you could still be issued a ticket for reckless driving and could face charges that include a license suspension. If your reckless driving did cause property damage or personal injury, then the penalties will be more severe.
Examples of Reckless Driving in Bradenton, FL.
As per Florida Statute 316.192, any individual who drives a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others can be charged with driving recklessly. Florida Statute 768.81 outlines the rules of the road in Florida and enforces the duty that is placed on drivers to drive safely and keep those around them safe.
Some common examples of circumstances that result in reckless driving charges are:
- Failing to stop at a stop sign.
- Failure to slow down for a crossing, a school, or traffic lights.
- Dangerously driving/ maneuvering and swerving around traffic.
- Driving too quickly considering the conditions, even if within the speed limit. I.e., where there are a lot of pedestrians or the road conditions are hazardous.
- Driving at night or in poor weather conditions without the car lights on.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, with a blood alcohol limit of over 0.8%.
- Dangerously tailgating other cars.
- Failure to comply with traffic laws, i.e., stopping at a red light.
- Illegally maneuvering around heavy-duty or larger vehicles.
- Speeding dangerously over the posted speed limit.
- Distracted driving, such as using your phone.
- Refusing to yield in the road when necessary.
As you can see, reckless driving is a broad term that covers a lot of actions on the road. Because the definition is loose, it may be possible for your defense attorney to argue that you were not, in fact, acting recklessly, depending on the details of your case. Contact us today for a free consultation in North Port, and we will be able to advise you based on the specific details of your case.
When Is a Reckless Driving Charge Beneficial?
A reckless driving charge can actually be beneficial in some circumstances. For example, if you are accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then a reckless driving charge is a better result than a DUI charge. The penalties are much less severe.
If you are facing a DUI charge in North Port, then your attorney can help to determine whether it is possible for your charges to be dropped entirely. If not, fighting for a reckless driving charge over a DUI charge could be a good defense strategy.
A DUI charge stays on your record for longer, insurance companies may drop you, and it may even affect what work you do. Many employers do not look favorably on DUI charges. You may also be required to have an interlock device to start your car and to participate in alcohol awareness programs. Furthermore, a license suspension will be mandatory.
Consequences for Reckless Driving in North Port, FL.
In Florida, reckless driving is usually charged as a misdemeanor. The punishments include up to $500 in fines and up to 90 days in county jail.
You may also be facing license revocation. This can seriously affect how you live your life and may even prevent you from working. With the help of a criminal defense lawyer at The Law Place, you can fight to keep your license or apply for a license that will allow you to drive to and from work.
However, if your actions caused property damage or personal injury, then your charge could be much more severe. Furthermore, if you have previously been charged for reckless driving, then you are likely to receive much harsher punishments.
Repeated offenses can result in fines of $1,000 and 12 months behind bars. If there is property damage or serious bodily harm to a victim, you could face a third-degree felony offense. Third-degree felony offenses are punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to five years in jail.
If you are found liable for an accident, then you may be required to pay the following damages:
- Medical bills, past, and future – All medical bills that a victim has incurred.
- Property damage – Any damage to the victim’s property.
- Pain and suffering – If the victim suffers a loss of enjoyment or a change to their way of life, this will be calculated. In serious accidents, this could be five times the figure of their medical bills.
Depending on the details of your case, your North Port criminal defense attorney will help you to decide whether you should be fighting to have your charges dropped entirely or whether your focus should be minimizing the penalties brought against you. Contact us today for a free consultation, and we can offer advice based on your case.
Possible Defenses for Reckless Driving in North Port, FL.
Following a traffic violation, it is important to seek the advice of an attorney in North Port that is well versed in Florida traffic law and can assess the intricacies of your case and scrutinize the evidence brought against you. They will work tirelessly to build a strong defense that will hold up in court.
Common defense strategies for traffic violations in North Port, Florida, include:
- Were there people or property nearby to endanger?
- Were you the actual driver of the vehicle?
- Did the actions of other road users affect your actions?
- Are there any witnesses that can contradict the accusations brought against you?
- If you are accused of speeding, then it is possible that the speed reading could be incorrect. Furthermore, speeding alone is not sufficient for a reckless driving violation. What were the other factors at play?
- Did you drive the vehicle in willful disregard, or did you simply act carelessly?
Best Steps to Avoid a Reckless Driving Accident in North Port, FL.
Traffic violations can lead to serious consequences that can have a big impact on your life and the lives of your family members. Therefore, it is best to take steps to avoid any possibility of accusations. The best ways to avoid traffic violations in North Port, FL., include:
- Do not use your phone while driving or allow any other distractions.
- Keep within the speed limit and adapt your driving according to the conditions of the road and weather conditions.
- Utilize your mirrors as much as possible, and always stay vigilant.
- Keep your eyes on the road and remain aware of your surroundings.
- Remain focused at all times while driving.
- Approach large or irregular vehicles with caution.
By following these simple steps, you can keep within your duty of care and act in a reasonable manner to keep yourself and those around you safe.
Contact The Law Place Today!
If you are accused of reckless driving, then you should contact a criminal defense attorney in North Port today. Seek a free consultation as quickly as possible to protect yourself from the worse penalties.
At The Law Place, we will ensure the best possible outcome for your case. We have a wealth of knowledge in traffic violation cases in Florida and will be able to determine the best course of action for your case.
After a free consultation, you will have no obligation to continue with representation. At the very least, you will be armed with a better understanding of your case. We are upfront about all costs so that you do not end up with any surprise bills, and we take being your advocate seriously.
We stand out from other law firms because most of our lawyers are AVVO rated 10.0, which is the highest possible rating, based on years of experience, client reviews, and awards. We review your case as a team to come up with the best possible defense. Essentially, you receive a team of lawyers for the price of one. At which point, an attorney best suited to your case in North Port will become your advocate and will be there to support you through this stressful time.
Contact us today at (941) 444-4444 and receive valuable legal advice from a highly skilled lawyer. Phone lines are open 24/7.