If you received a traffic ticket for reckless driving in Port Charlotte, then you must be wondering what you should do next. The first step is to seek legal counsel from a criminal defense attorney who can help you to understand your rights under Florida law.
At The Law Place, we have over seventy-five years of collective experience when it comes to defending clients who are facing reckless driving charges in Port Charlotte and throughout the State of Florida. Our law firm will provide you with quality advice and representation for your case in Port Charlotte. We understand the challenges that you are facing, and we will work hard to achieve a favorable outcome for you and for your family. Call our office today to speak to one of our criminal defense lawyers, and they will be sure to help you out.
Contact The Law Place on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation today, and a criminal defense attorney will fight your reckless driving charges in Port Charlotte. Phone lines are open 24/7.
The Definition of Reckless Driving in Port Charlotte, FL.
The term ‘reckless driving’ refers to anyone who ‘drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property’ according to the law in the State of Florida. A reckless driver is classed as a person who is aware of their dangerous behavior and continues to drive recklessly anyway. Behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, failing to yield, weaving in and out of traffic can result in charges of reckless driving. There are a number of repercussions that are associated with these kinds of behaviors, including fines, jail time, and more.
People who operate their vehicles in a reckless manner cause thousands of car accidents that could have been preventable every single year in the United States of America. A reckless driving accident can inflict serious injury or death to innocent people, and their families will have to deal with numerous physical, emotional, and financial burdens. In this case, a reckless driver will most likely face criminal prosecution, and they can also be held liable for the damages caused to the people who were injured.
It is up to the judge and jury to decide the type of traffic offenses that constitute reckless driving at the end of the day. However, there are certain types of reckless behavior that are almost always classed as reckless driving due to the dangerous nature of their actions. For example, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs that pose a danger for people or property, or a driver who is traveling 20 or 30 miles per hour over the posted speed limit will be charged with reckless driving.
Call The Law Place today to set up a free consultation to understand more about receiving a charge of reckless driving in the State of Florida.
For a free legal consultation with a reckless driving accidents lawyer serving Port Charlotte, call 941-444-4444
The Differences Between Reckless Driving and Careless Driving in Port Charlotte, FL.
It is completely understandable if you are wondering what the differences are between ‘reckless driving’ and ‘careless driving’ as they are both used interchangeably in Port Charlotte. A criminal defense attorney will be able to offer clarity and advice to help you clearly understand the differences between the two traffic ticket charges.
- Careless driving – Every driver is expected to travel 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,” according to Florida Statute 316.1925. In the event that the statute is violated, the driver will be charged with careless driving, which results in fines, points on their driving license, heightened insurance rates, and the possibility of a driver’s license revocation.
- Reckless driving – Every driver who operates their vehicle with “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property” will be charged with reckless driving, according to Florida Statute 316.192. Reckless driving is classed as a criminal traffic offense, and the penalties are severe. A first-time conviction of reckless driving includes having to pay a fine between $25 and $500 and 90 days of prison time. A second or third conviction of reckless driving includes having to pay a fine between $50 and $1,000 and 6 months of prison time.
Reckless Driving Traffic Ticket Statistics in Port Charlotte, FL.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) publishes a traffic citation report every single year. In the report, they detail the total amount of drivers who were issued traffic citations throughout the year. For example, here are the statistics for the year 2018:
- Speeding – 187,097 traffic citations were issued to drivers for speeding.
- Careless driving – 197,818 traffic citations were issued to drivers who were traveling carelessly.
- Failure to yield – 73,167 traffic citations were issued to drivers for failing to yield.
- Tailgating – 20,368 traffic citations were issued to drivers for following too close.
- Improper lane changes – 60,855 traffic citations were issued to drivers for making improper lane changes.
The statistics are highly problematic. All of these behaviors constitute reckless driving, which means that traffic tickets are bound to be issued on the roadways in the State of Florida. If drivers would take more care while operating their motor vehicles, many car accidents could be prevented – alongside avoiding criminal charges.
Port Charlotte Reckless Driving Accident Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
Types of Reckless Driving in Port Charlotte, FL.
Florida law classes reckless driving as ‘showing willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.’ Willful can also be considered ‘knowingly, intentionally, and purposefully,’ and wanton is considered to be the intentional indifference to the repercussions of the damages that will likely be caused to a person or property.
Any driver could be charged with reckless driving behaviors, such as:
- Excessively speeding.
- Weaving in and out of traffic.
- Making improper passes.
- Failing to use signals.
- Failing to yield.
- Violating multiple traffic laws.
- Disregarding traffic signs.
- Ignoring weather conditions.
- Drag racing.
The court will mainly focus on the thoughts of the driver at the time that they were caught driving recklessly, such as regarding and disregarding. However, the prosecution has a hard time when it comes to proving a charge of reckless driving at trial. The good news is that before your trial, a criminal defense attorney at The Law Place might be able to find a motion to dismiss, which means that there is uncontested evidence that does not support the crime that you have been charged with.
Penalties for Reckless Driving in Port Charlotte, FL.
Reckless driving is classed as a criminal offense, and the penalties are suitable to the crime. The severity of the consequences will depend on the facts surrounding the crime, such as property damage or serious bodily injury as a result of a person’s reckless driving in Port Charlotte. The main list of penalties for reckless driving include:
A First Offense of Reckless Driving
- A second-degree misdemeanor.
- Spending 90 days in jail.
- A probation period of 6 months.
- Paying up to $500 in fines.
A Charge of Reckless Driving With a Prior Conviction
- A second-degree misdemeanor.
- Spending up to 6 months in jail.
- A probation period of 6 months.
- Paying up to $500 in fines.
A Charge of Reckless Driving Involving Property Damage
- A first-degree misdemeanor.
- Spending up to 1 year in jail.
- A probation period of 1 year.
- Paying up to $1,000 in fines.
A Charge of Reckless Driving Involving Bodily Injury
- A third-degree felony.
- Spending up to 5 years in prison.
- A probation period of 5 years.
- Paying up to $5,000 in fines.
If a driver commits a crime of reckless driving, then it can lead to having their license suspended, along with a number of additional consequences such as an increase in their insurance rates and potentially losing their job. Furthermore, a driver who is adjudicated guilty of reckless driving will result in a criminal offense on their record, which can make it difficult for them to find a job or receive a loan later in life.
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Points on Your Driver’s License in Port Charlotte, FL.
The points system established by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) determines whether a person’s license will be suspended. It works by assigning a certain amount of points to a driver who received a traffic ticket or was arrested for committing a moving violation in the State of Florida. If a driver receives too many points within a certain amount of time, then it can result in their license being revoked or suspended.
The highest amount of points that a driver can receive for committing a moving violation is 4 points on their driving license after a conviction of reckless driving. For example, if you received 2 more 4 point moving violations on your license within a time period of 12 months, then your license could be suspended for up to 30 days, if you received 18 points within 18 months, then your license could be suspended for up to 3 months, and if you received 24 points within the time period of 36 months, then your license could be suspended for up to 12 months by the state.
Defenses to Reckless Driving in Port Charlotte, FL.
The Law Place can devise a number of defense methods to contest your reckless driving charges in Port Charlotte. Our team of criminal defense lawyers will use the following defenses to help get your charges reduced or dropped:
- Were you the actual driver?
- Did you operate the motor vehicle with willful or wanton disregard, or did you merely act in a negligent or careless manner?
- Was your driving pattern intentional, knowing, and purposeful, or was your driving pattern the result of an emergency situation?
- Were there people or property in danger?
- Are the eyewitnesses that the prosecution is using reliable?
- Are there other eyewitnesses that contradict the allegations made by the prosecution?
- If a police officer is making the allegation, is there an in-car video available to support the allegations?
- Is the charge of reckless driving based entirely on the accusation of excessive speed?
Contact The Law Place Today in Port Charlotte, FL.
If you are facing charges for reckless driving, then you should do everything you can to protect your legal rights in Port Charlotte. A traffic ticket can result in serious fines, a probation period, and the revocation of your license. It is possible that you might have been wrongfully charged for your offense, and it is imperative that you hire a criminal defense attorney to fight against the charges.
At The Law Place, we have over seventy-five years of combined experience and knowledge when it comes to fighting traffic tickets for clients in Port Charlotte and all over the State of Florida. Our law firm has an in-depth awareness of criminal law, and we can guide you through the legal system with efficiency.
It is important for you to understand that you are not alone in tackling a traffic ticket. We will help you to understand the repercussions of committing a traffic violation, and we will work hard to reduce the charges and minimize the consequences of your offense. If you put your trust in us, our law firm can potentially get the charges dropped altogether.
Contact The Law Place on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation today, and a criminal defense attorney will fight your reckless driving charges in Port Charlotte.