Reckless driving and racing charges are two serious traffic violations that carry serious criminal penalties. They are also "crimes" that drivers may not even be aware they have committed. In the case of reckless driving, it may come down to the word and perception of the arresting police officer, more than anything else.
A skillful, comprehensive defense strategy may be the key to protecting your drivers' license and your liberty. If you've been ticketed for racing, drag racing or driving recklessly on a highway or roadway in central Florida, take immediate action to protect your rights. Our traffic violation lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm have over 60 years of combined experience handling these types of cases.
Contact us to discuss your case during a free case review. You may learn some very interesting facts about your case that you wouldn't have thought of before.
What Is Reckless Driving?
Florida traffic statutes define reckless driving as driving a vehicle in a manner that exhibits "willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property." Again, this is often defined by the perception of the police officer.
Reckless driving is a common charge in every part of the country but particularly in Florida. Regardless of the age of the driver, being distracted is a regular problem. People are texting, talking on their cellphones, drinking coffee, eating, or trying to do hair and make-up while driving. There are always ongoing conversations with others or something that catches the eye, meaning drivers are not concentrating the way that they should. The result can mean an accident that is one's own fault or someone becomes an unfortunate victim.
Reckless Driving Penalties In Florida
When you get points against your driving record for a reckless driving charge, it can quickly become a threat to your driver's license. Penalties can include:
- Impounding your vehicle
- Fines and court costs ($500 for a first offense)
- License suspension or revocation, in some cases mandatory driver's license suspension
- Skyrocketing insurance rates or cancellation of your insurance altogether
- Driving school
- Possible jail time
- INCREASED MANDATORY minimum penalties for a second or subsequent reckless driving charge
Defending Reckless Driving Charges
When a driver has been accused of reckless driving and issued a ticket, there may be a plausible explanation that is not due to recklessness. For instance, a person may go into cardiac arrest or have a seizure. A vehicle malfunction may occur due to faulty equipment, resulting in brakes failing or the accelerator to cause an extreme burst of speed. While such incidents may not be as common, it is still not acceptable to issue a reckless driving ticket when someone does not have all of the facts.
A lawyer with expertise in the area of traffic law and infractions will be able to get to the heart of the matter and take the case to court, proving without a shadow of a doubt whether a person is guilty of reckless driving or is a victim of circumstance. Police officers in Florida often let any unexplained or unclear traffic incident fall under the umbrella of reckless driving without just cause. For anyone who has experienced being charged with reckless driving, they need to know that they can protect their rights.
Florida Racing Laws
Florida traffic statutes define racing as "the use of one or more motor vehicles in an attempt to … outdistance another motor vehicle, to prevent another motor vehicle from passing, to arrive at a given destination ahead of another motor vehicle…."
Sometimes drivers get charged with racing or drag racing and they are unaware that they were racing. It was the perception of the police officer that they were starting too fast or squealing tires.
Drag racing, street racing or racing on highways is a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida, subject to the following penalties:
|Second offense within five years||
Fight Traffic Tickets Whenever You Can
At The Umansky Law Firm, our goal is to prevent points from going on your driving record in the first place, and to prevent your license from being suspended or revoked. We defend against all traffic infraction charges in Orlando and central Florida. If there are any questionable circumstances surrounding the ticket or the traffic stop, we investigate. If the ticketing officer cannot prove the infraction beyond a reasonable doubt, you may get the charges dismissed.
Each of our attorneys has more than a decade of criminal law experience defending both juveniles and adults, Florida tourists and interstate truck drivers charged with reckless driving, careless driving, racing, and even vehicular homicide.
We recognize the seriousness of reckless driving charges and understand the defense strategies that can get you results. Call The Umansky Law Firm today at 407-228-3838 or complete our online form to schedule an appointment to have your case reviewed at no charge.
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