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In Florida, you could be arrested for reckless driving regardless of whether or not you were drinking.
What Is Reckless Driving?
Under Florida law, reckless driving is when a person:
- Drives in willful or wanton disregard of other people or property
- Attempting to flee from a police officer in a vehicle is assumed to be reckless driving
Willfulness includes intentionally knowing you might be putting others in danger, while wantonness means you were indifferent to the consequences.
Punishments for Reckless Driving
Conviction of reckless driving can result in serious consequences; however, the punishment will depend on the nature of the crime. If it is your first offense, with no bodily injury or property damage, it will be considered a 2nd-degree misdemeanor. This sentence would require a penalty of up to 90 days in jail or 6 months of probation and a $500 fine. However, if this is your second charge, you could face up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
If your driving led to bodily injury or property damage, the punishment would be harsher. A 1st-degree misdemeanor will get you up to 1 year in jail or 12 months of probation with a $1,000 fine. You would be sentenced with this charge if you caused no serious injury and/or property damage. Serious bodily harm, however, would lead to a 3rd-degree felony, which could get you 5 years in prison, 5 years of probation and a $5,000 fine.
Punishment for reckless driving is serious but not as much as getting charged with a DUI. Discuss with your attorney whether or not you could reduce your DUI charge to reckless driving.
Avoid Lengthy Sentences and High Fines
If you're facing a DUI or a reckless driving charge, don't wait. Contact our experienced St. Petersburg DUI attorney, Timothy Hessinger. He has defended hundreds of people in criminal defense cases, and, as a former prosecutor, he knows how the opposition thinks.
Contact us at (888) 863-7415
or fill out our online form for your free case consultation.