What is a reckless driving ticket?
Reckless driving is one of the more serious types of traffic charges an individual can face when driving in South Florida. Pursuant to Florida Statute §316.192, reckless driving is a criminal traffic offense, which can carry much steeper penalties than your typical civil traffic infraction. By the letter of the law, you could go to jail or have a criminal record as a result of a reckless driving conviction. While this generally never occurs (especially for first time offenders), you should know that if you are charged with reckless driving and do get arrested, you can be taken to jail and may be required to post a bond. Alternatively, the police officer has the ability to have you sign a notice to appear instead of immediately taking you into custody. If you receive a reckless driving charge, it means that the arresting police officer believes you have been driving a vehicle with “willful and wanton for the safety or persons or property….” (Florida Statute §316.192) In the context of Florida’s reckless driving statute, “willful” means intentional, knowing, and purposeful, and “wanton” means with a conscious and intentional indifference to consequences and with knowledge that damage is likely to be done to persons or property.
How to Beat it!
Reckless driving charges are typically very difficult for the State of Florida to prove because if the police officer didn’t see the crash firsthand, he can’t testify in court as to what happened. Accordingly, in order for the State to prove your reckless driving charge, a civilian witness who saw the accident firsthand must testify in court. Normally, civilian witnesses don’t want to show up in court; accordingly, if there is no civil witness testimony in court and the officer did not witness the reckless driving pattern or event firsthand, you will most likely be found not guilty and the charge will be dismissed.
You should fight your reckless driving charge like you would fight any other criminal offense—by retaining an attorney as soon as you get charged. An experienced Miami criminal defense attorney or a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney from a South Florida law firm such as Galanter Law will be able to defend the charges for you based on the specific facts and circumstances on your particular case. Our South Florida criminal defense lawyers will do everything in their power to make sure you are not adjudicated guilty for the reckless driving charge, meaning there will not be a permanent mark on your record and the charge will not cause you problems in the future.
Reckless driving charges can be many different degrees of a crime. If there is property damage or injury to persons, the criminal penalties are enhanced. Reckless driving under some circumstances can even be a felony. Since reckless driving tickets carry enhanced penalties, remember that when you plead to a reckless driving charge you are pleading to a criminal offense and that the resolution of your case must be handled with care. With significant criminal penalties at stake, you should never try to defend yourself for a reckless driving charge.
If you hire an experienced and knowledgeable Miami ticket defense lawyer or Fort Lauderdale ticket defense lawyer to represent you, then depending on your record, you will most likely get off. As such, contact our office as soon as possible after receiving your South Florida reckless driving charge.
Commentary by Miami Traffic Ticket Attorney Yale Galanter
Yale Galanter, a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer, has over 30 years of experience providing discreet and aggressive legal counseling to both public figures and clients looking for precise and excellent legal defense. Yale Galanter is known for his personal representation and attention to your criminal matter.
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