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What Is Considered Reckless Driving in Florida?

We’ve all heard of reckless driving before, but do we really know what it is? Hearing the phrase tends to conjure images of drivers disobeying all of the rules of the road – speeding, running red lights, weaving through traffic and around pedestrians, maybe even doing all of this while fleeing from law enforcement.

All of these things certainly sound reckless. After all, they involve driving behavior that puts others at risk – but does such behavior amount to the legal definition of reckless driving? Let’s explore this topic in more depth below.

Reckless Driving in Florida: The Legal Definition

Because reckless driving cases tend to have a lot of nuance to them, the law that describes this offense leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

Legally, reckless driving is defined as:

  • Driving a motor vehicle with a “willful or wanton” disregard for the safety of people or property.
  • Driving a motor vehicle to flee law enforcement.

An important thing to note is that there’s nothing here that states anything about speed, running red lights, or disobeying any rules of the road. All of these things are their own traffic infractions, but the “recklessness” of one’s behavior in committing them makes the difference.

At the core of all reckless driving charges is the accusation that the driver put other people or property in danger.

What Are the Penalties for Reckless Driving in Florida?

If convicted for reckless driving, the potential penalties one can face depend on factors such as whether or not anyone was injured, if there was any property damage, and the driver’s prior driving and criminal records.

The maximum sentence for a first offense for reckless driving can include the following penalties:

  • Up to 90 days in jail
  • A fine of $25 to $500
  • Both jail and a fine
  • Probation

The penalties for a first offense can increase if another person was injured or their property damaged.

What Should I Do If I Get Arrested?

If you are arrested for reckless driving, the first things you should do are invoke your rights to remain silent and have legal counsel. Don’t participate in any investigation against you by speaking to the police without your attorney present. Doing so can only hurt your case and worsen your legal situation.

When you are able to contact an attorney, reach out to The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Grossman, LLC, Ticket & License Center for help. We can provide the legal advice and guidance you need during this time. Our traffic defense attorney may be able to help you reduce the charges or penalties against you, or even win your case.

For more information, take advantage of a free consultation by contacting us online.