Reckless driving is an offense that may have severe consequences under Florida law. Whether the charge is a Misdemeanor or a Felony, a conviction for reckless driving can result in a jail sentence, fines, and other unwanted effects.
Aside from the criminal penalties that may arise from a reckless driving conviction, you may suffer unexpected collateral consequences. For instance, a reckless driving conviction could add four points to your license. If you accumulate 12 points within one year, you could face a 30-day suspension of your license.
A Pompano Beach reckless driving lawyer may be able to provide you with crucial legal advice in this situation. Contact a well-versed criminal defense attorney from Leifert & Leifert for guidance throughout these proceedings and assistance pursuing an outcome that has a minimum impact on your life.
Reckless Driving Defined
Florida Statutes §316.192 defines the offense of reckless driving as the driving of any motor vehicle in a manner that exhibits an intentional disregard for the safety of other persons or property. Under this statute, various driving maneuvers or behaviors may qualify as reckless driving, including fleeing a Law Enforcement Officer in a motor vehicle.
Other potential violations of this law include weaving in and out of different lanes of traffic, failing to yield to oncoming vehicles, speeding, and suddenly slamming on the brakes. Broadly speaking, this offense encompasses all types of driving that have the potential to endanger other drivers and pedestrians on the roadways.
A first conviction for reckless driving can result in a jail sentence of up to 90 days, a fine ranging from $25 to $500, or both. For a second or subsequent conviction, the potential punishment increases to a maximum six-month jail sentence and a fine of between $50 and $1,000, or both. Since any reckless driving conviction carries the possibility of jail time, getting advice from a Pompano Beach reckless driving lawyer may be beneficial.
Aggravating Factors and Reckless Driving in Pompano Beach
Anyone who commits an offense of reckless driving and hurts a person or causes damage to property belonging to others commits a first-degree Misdemeanor. A conviction for reckless driving as a first-degree Misdemeanor can result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a $1,000 fine.
If reckless driving leads to serious bodily injury to others, the offense becomes a third-degree Felony. Serious bodily injury in this context includes:
- Any physical harm that creates a significant risk of death
- Substantial disfigurement
- Loss or impairment of a bodily function or organ for some time
A conviction for a Felony in the third degree carries a potential prison sentence of five years and a $5,000 fine. A Pompano Beach reckless driving attorney may be particularly helpful for individuals who are facing Felony-level reckless driving charges.
Reckless Driving Involving Drugs or Alcohol
In addition to a criminal conviction, term of incarceration, and payment of fines, the Court has the authority to order individuals to complete a DUI or substance abuse education program and assessment within a reasonable amount of time if alcohol or drugs contributed to the commission of a reckless driving offense. If the evaluation leads to a referral for substance abuse treatment, the Court can enforce the requirement for the duration of the recommended course of treatment.
To waive the recommended treatment, individuals may undergo an independent psychosocial evaluation conducted by a Court-appointed substance abuse treatment provider at their own cost. The Court may then review the results of both assessments to determine whether this requirement may be waived.
Work with a Pompano Beach Reckless Driving Attorney
A conviction for reckless driving can leave a severe black mark on your driving record that could cause unpleasant repercussions for years to come. Jail time, fines, points on your license, loss of driving privileges, and increased insurance rates are just some of the many implications that you may face upon a conviction for reckless driving.
Relying on the legal advice and assistance of a Pompano Beach reckless driving lawyer may be essential to a more favorable result in your case. Various defenses may be available in a reckless driving case, which you can explore with the help of legal counsel from Leifert & Leifert. Call us today to see what may be possible in your case.