After a car accident, the officer called to the scene will almost always cite the person he or she is responsible for the accident. Depending on the type of accident and the facts of the case, that driver may face a citation for one or more infractions. He or she may be cited for failing to yield the right of way, failing to stop at a red light or stop sign, and careless driving.
Accumulating too many citations can lead to points on your Florida driver’s license and inch you closer to losing all driving privileges. Speak with an experienced attorney who handles careless driving infractions in West Palm Beach to help you maintain a clean driving record.
What is Careless Driving?
One of the most common citations issued following car crashes is for careless driving, which is often issued when a police officer cannot pinpoint the exact cause of the accident. The citation is most often issued after a rear-end collision. At times, the citation may even be issued without the occurrence of an accident. This usually takes place as an attempt to stop someone the officer believes was driving in such a way that may have endangered another’s life or property.
Florida Statute 316.1925 defines careless driving as the failure to operate a vehicle upon the streets or highways within the state in a careful and prudent manner, while 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.
Most accidents don’t take place right in front of the police officer who must make the accident report. Police arrive at the scene after the fact and speak with all parties involved. They talk to drivers and witnesses before issuing citations to determine who is at fault. Under Florida law, you can tell an officer anything about the crash without fearing that your statements will be used as evidence in a civil or criminal trial. Statements made to law enforcement right after an accident are privileged and cannot be used those who issue them at a later date.
Aggravated Careless Driving
Aggressive careless driving is a unique statute that aims to track those who drive aggressively on Florida streets and highways. You cannot be cited under this statute specifically, but if you are cited for careless driving it can be noted on the ticket as a way for the judge to impose a harsher fine or other penalties. Individuals who have allegedly committed more than one of the following acts at the same time can be singled out as aggressive careless drivers:
- Unsafely or improperly changing lanes
- Following too closely
- Failing to yield
- Improperly passing
- Violating a traffic control device
Careless driving is a moving violation for which you can face penalties and 4 license points if you agree to pay the ticket. Paying any citation is an automatic admission of guilt. Careless driving is often mixed up with reckless driving, which is a criminal offense. Whether you have been cited for careless driving or criminally charged with reckless driving, attorney Brian Gabriel of The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel can defend your case and protect your interests every step of the way. Call 561-622-5575 for a free consultation or complete an online contact form.