Accidents, by definition, are unintentional. Every day, thousands of drivers in Florida unintentionally cause an accident that is beyond their control. Yet every day careless drivers cause accidents that could…
Miami Reckless Driving Attorney
Many people think that reckless driving is a traffic violation because it involves operating a motor vehicle. However, reckless driving allegations are significantly more serious than a traffic ticket and should be taken extremely seriously. While speeding and traffic tickets are civil violations in Florida, reckless driving is a criminal offense and has potential criminal penalties associated with a conviction. If you have been charged with reckless driving, your very first call should be to an experienced Miami reckless driving lawyer who understands the relevant laws, who knows how to fight against wrongful charges, and who can advise you on the best course of action in your case.
What Constitutes Reckless Driving in Miami, Florida
The offense of reckless driving, which is expressly denounced by statutes in many states by that name or in terms of similar import, is to be distinguished from other offenses created by statutes regulating the operation of automobiles on highways and making violations of their provision’s criminal offenses. As a general rule, what constitutes reckless driving is to be determined from all the surrounding circumstances, at least where the statute does not specifically declare what particular acts shall constitute the offense. What constitutes reckless driving under some conditions may not be such under other conditions. While under some statute’s negligence in the operation of an automobile is sufficient to constitute reckless driving, as a general rule something more than mere negligence in the operation of an automobile is necessary to constitute the offense.
Moreover, some cases declare that even gross negligence, not being willful or wanton disregard of consequences, does not amount to reckless driving. Generally, the offense denotes operation of an automobile under such circumstances and in such a manner as to show a willful or reckless disregard of consequences. This is often exemplified by the specific statutory language used in defining reckless driving. Thus, many states define reckless driving as driving in a “willful and wanton disregard” of the rights or safety of others. Other statutes use the words “recklessly” or “in reckless disregard” of the safety of others. Under some statutes prohibiting driving recklessly, or so as to endanger life, limb, or property, which have been construed as creating distinct offenses, a person may be convicted of reckless driving without proof that the life, limb, or property of any person was endangered.
Penalties Associated with Reckless Driving in Miami, Florida
In the state of Florida, reckless driving is defined as the “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Unlike speeding tickets and other moving violations, which are considered civil violations, reckless driving is a criminal offense that has more severe penalties. Charges of reckless driving may also accompany other charges, including DUI, racing and accident-related traffic offenses. These charges, alone or together, may have a significant impact on your ability to drive and can also impact your criminal record. Penalties for reckless driving include fines and court costs, license suspension or revocation, driving school, and even possible jail time.
The various reckless driving offenses and their penalties are as follows:
- For a first offense, a person may face the maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and/or a fine of $25 up to $500.
- For a second or subsequent offense, a person may face the maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and/or a fine of $25 up to $1,000.
- For reckless driving causing property damage (whether it is a first offense or not), a person may face up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
- For reckless driving causing serious bodily injury, a person may face up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
Defense for Careless and Reckless Driving
Reckless driving may be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on whether the alleged offender caused any property damage, bodily injury, or death as an outcome of the offense. If you are facing these types of charges, you should contact a skilled reckless driving lawyer in Miami right away. In addition to reckless driving, criminal traffic violations include: driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, knowingly driving with a suspended license, driving with a license that has been expired for more than four months, leaving the scene of accident, expired tags or unlawful tag display, and failure to surrender driver’s license. Additionally, unlike civil traffic citations, you can’t simply pay a fine and move on, a criminal traffic violation typically requires that you appear in court in front of a judge. Our firm can represent you in court and will work hard to minimize the consequences of your offense so that you can retain your license and avoid criminal charges on your record.
Call our Miami Reckless Driving Attorneys for a Free Consultation Today!
The attorneys at Suarez & Montero can meet with you to discuss further. We are always available to talk with you and answer your questions. Our skillful attorneys are genuinely committed to our clients. We will fight to make sure that you get the maximum amount of compensation owed to you. Let us help you get the medical care you need and fight to make sure you are compensated for your injuries! Remember, we work on a contingency basis so you will owe us nothing If we are unable to obtain successful results for your case.
The attorneys at Suarez & Montero can meet with you to discuss further. always available to talk with you and answer your questions. Our skillful attorneys are genuinely committed to our clients. We will fight to make sure that you get the maximum amount of compensation owed to you. Let us help you get the medical care you need and fight to make sure you are compensated for your injuries! Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights. We are available 24/7 to give you a free, no risk case consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Reckless driving in Florida carries different criminal penalties depending on whether it is your first offense or a subsequent offense. According to Florida’s reckless driving statue (§316.192), this offense is defined as a person who “drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Speeding alone cannot constitute reckless driving; though speeding in conjunction with other acts, such as running red lights and veering in and out of lanes, may constitute reckless driving.
At Suarez & Montero, our team of car accident lawyers will investigate your case, properly manage your file and collect all of the necessary information in order to prepare a personal injury demand letter. Simply stated it is a letter that outlines your case and why the targeted defendant and/or insurance company is responsible for your injuries and damages. Supporting documentation is included in the demand. Some examples of the types of documents included are medical records, radiological films, tax records, wage information, and expert reports are attached to the demand letter.
Yes. Pre-existing injuries: One of the most common ways for an insurance company or attorney to prove their client isn’t liable is through medical records. They will look for preexisting conditions or injuries in your medical history and argue that all or some of your damages are not eligible for compensation. A major question of liability arises when a second accident or incident happens that worsens a prior injury or condition. Fortunately, Florida has addressed the issue of liability by applying the “eggshell skull doctrine” to personal injury claims. In general, this doctrine applies to all personal injury claims, and it states that the relative frailty of the injury victim is not a valid defense against a claim.
If your insurance company has wrongfully denied your claim, you may be able to not only file a lawsuit seeking the compensation owed under the policy, but also to file a bad faith claim against your insurer. However, after reviewing your policy and the written reason for your denial to ensure that you have a valid claim, your car accident attorney will likely attempt to achieve an alternative solution first. One of the alternative solutions may be to file an appeal with the insurance company, providing additional evidence to validate your claims.