ARRESTED? INVESTIGATED? ARRESTADO? INVESTIGADO?
Reckless driving is a crime in Miami, Florida. Depending on the harm that has been alleged to have occurred, you could face anything up to 5 years in a state jail and $5,000 in fines. You could also have your license suspended or revoked.
An experienced Miami reckless driving attorney can get your charge dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge in many cases as often prosecutors do not have the correct information at hand or have insufficient proof to obtain a conviction.
Do not underestimate the seriousness of a reckless driving charge. Many drivers make the mistake that there is no difference between ‘careless driving’ and ‘reckless driving.’ Careless driving is a civil offense, but
reckless driving is a criminal offense and that can mean going to jail.
A criminal conviction can affect you and your family for the rest of your life. If you are arrested for reckless driving, you must insist on speaking to an attorney first. This is your right under the 5th & 6th Amendments (Miranda rights). An attorney will ensure you do not make a misleading statement to police that can be used to help convict you.
How reckless and careless driving are different
In Florida, driving dangerously is judged to be the lesser offense of ‘careless driving’, a civil traffic ticket. The more serious offense of ‘reckless driving’ is a criminal offense. Both carry points.
A driver who drives carelessly, such as speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, or tailgating may not do so with the intention to do any harm. A driver who drives ‘recklessly,’ however, is someone who sets out with the full knowledge that they could cause damage to property or harm to others by their actions.
According to the Florida reckless driving statute s. 316.192, a reckless driver is defined as someone who "drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property…"
Reckless driving may be a misdemeanor or a felony
Someone who is charged with a reckless driving offense may be convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on whether there is any damage caused and whether anyone was injured or killed.
The least serious offense, when no injury or property damage involved, is a misdemeanor in the second degree with a jail sentence of up to 90 days and a fine of anything from $25 up to $500?dollars, plus court costs. The penalties double with a second offense.
If property has been damaged, it is considered a misdemeanor in the first degree. Penalties increase with a jail sentence of up to 12 months and a fine of up to $1,000.
If someone has been seriously injured, the conviction will be for a felony in the third degree with up to 5 years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
Reckless driving convictions will also result in 4 points added to your license and / or suspension.
Get a Miami criminal defense attorney to defend your rights
Reckless driving is a serious offense in Florida as dangerous driving practices with the knowledge that harm or damage could occur cause many injuries and deaths every year. However, just because you have been arrested for reckless driving doesn’t mean that you are guilty.
You are entitled to the presumption of innocence until it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that you were in fact driving recklessly under Florida law. There are many reasons why a reckless driving charge was made without full knowledge of the facts.
An experienced Miami reckless driving attorney will establish the full facts of the incident which led to your arrest and propose the best strategy to minimize the charge, have the penalties reduced in severity or have it thrown out altogether.
Albert Quirantes has been successfully defending criminal cases such as reckless driving for over 30 years and has helped over 8000 people successfully navigate the criminal justice system. Call for your sweet note obligation consultation with an attorney today at 305- 644-1800.