Careless driving and reckless driving are both terms that describe unsafe driving patterns that could put others at risk. At times, these terms are colloquially used interchangeably; however, each of these terms encompasses a specific Florida traffic law. While you can face consequences for both actions, only one of them is a criminal traffic offense. Let’s explore the similarities and differences between these actions.
Careless Driving Charges
Careless driving is governed by Florida Statute §316.1925. Essentially, a careless driving charge is a moving violation that is typically issued when the officer cannot find another violation that meets the offense. An example of such a situation can include an accident in which the police officer determines the driver at fault. If a driver caused a rear-end collision, he or she may receive a citation for careless driving when it was unclear how the accident occurred.
Aggressive drivers who pose a threat on the road may also receive citations for aggravated careless driving. A citation for careless driving in Florida is a civil traffic offense that does not open up a criminal record. It can, however, lead to expensive traffic fines and points on your driver’s license.Over time, an accumulation of points can make it more expensive to remain an insured driver in the state of Florida and may eventually lead to license suspension.
Reckless Driving Charges
If you face charges for reckless driving you should know that this is a criminal traffic offense for which you should seek legal representation. Reckless driving is governed by Florida Statute §316.192, which states “Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.” In this sense, “willful disregard” means the driver intentionally and knowingly drove with such disregard. The word “wanton” refers to a conscious and intentional indifference to the possible consequences of such driving. It also implies that the driver was aware of the type of damage that was likely to be done to persons or property.
Reckless driving is often associated with intoxicated driving, and at times a DUI charge may be reduced to one of reckless driving. Drag racing on the highway, weaving between traffic lanes on a busy highway at a high speed, and fleeing law enforcement are other examples.
Speak with a West Palm Beach Traffic Violation Attorney Near You
A first-time conviction for reckless driving in West Palm Beach can lead to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine. This is a serious criminal offense for which experienced legal counsel is recommended. Do not hesitate to contact The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel to discuss your Florida careless driving citation or your reckless driving charge. We have helped hundreds of people just like you resolve traffic violations throughout Palm Beach County for over 30 years. Call 561-622-5575 or contact us online for a free consultation.