If you were charged with reckless driving, consider contacting an experienced defense attorney. Unlike a simple speeding ticket, reckless driving is a criminal charge that can carry severe penalties and collateral consequences. A Ft. Lauderdale reckless driving by speed lawyer from Leifert & Leifert could analyze the facts of your situation and exploit any weaknesses in the Prosecution’s case. Call today and set up a consultation with our seasoned reckless driving attorneys.
Does Speed Alone Constitute Reckless Driving?
In Florida and Ft. Lauderdale, civil statutes say that if an individual exceeds the speed limit by 30 miles per hour or more, they are subjected to increased civil penalties. If they exceed the speed limit by 50 miles per hour or over, they are subject to even higher civil penalties. However, speed alone is not enough to prove an allegation of reckless driving, which is a criminal offense.
Usually, a reckless driving charge requires excessive speed plus the presence of two or more factors. Factors that play into an accusation of reckless driving include safety concerns such as children in the area, heavy traffic, or wet roadways. One of those factors or something similar has to be alleged in conjunction with the speed to charge, arrest, and prosecute someone for the offense of reckless driving.
Reckless Driving by Speed Penalties
A defendant may want to hire a lawyer because depending upon what the allegations are, reckless driving could be a Misdemeanor or a Felony. Under Florida Statutes §316.192, any person who drives any vehicle with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.
Any individual who is convicted of a first offense for reckless driving is punished as a second-degree Misdemeanor. On the first conviction, a person is subjected to a period of no more than 90 days in the Broward County Jail and a fine not more than $500. A Judge could consider placing someone on probation or giving an individual a criminal Misdemeanor conviction for the charge of reckless driving. Reckless driving also imposes four points against an individual’s driver’s license, and an individual could also face possible suspension of their driver’s license.
A Ft. Lauderdale reckless driving by speed attorney could present a persuasive argument to minimize the potential penalties.
Second Offense Consequences
Any individual who is prosecuted for a second offense of reckless driving would be subject to the penalties of a second-degree misdemeanor. However, the maximum penalty increases from 90 days in the Broward County Jail to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.
All reckless driving charges are criminal charges, and anytime an individual is charged or accused of a crime, it is in their best interests to hire a defense attorney. Our attorneys at Leifert & Leifert can help to determine what their options are as the long-ranging effects could be serious.
Potential Defenses and Mitigating Factors
The only legal excuses for driving at reckless speeds would be necessity or duress. For example, it may be a situation that was created not by the alleged offender. One such situation is driving in an emergency situation or being chased. Because the law requires a willful and wanton disregard for persons or property, speeding out of necessity may not always constitute reckless driving. The Court may not always accept these arguments, and unrepresented individuals may have difficulty effectively presenting their side of the story before a Judge. Experienced Ft. Lauderdale reckless driving by speed lawyers could negotiate directly with Prosecutors or raise a strong defense in court.
Reach Out to a Ft. Lauderdale Reckless Driving by Speed Attorney
Reckless driving is a criminal charge with the potential for jail time and significant fines. A Ft. Lauderdale reckless driving by a speed lawyer could help you to navigate the legal system, and more effectively present your case. To learn more, contact our dedicated attorneys at Leifert & Leifert today.