Operating a motor vehicle in any state in the country comes with a set of responsibilities and laws to obey. You might already know that most traffic offenses can be classified as “careless driving” if they do not fall under any other specific traffic law violations such as speeding or running a red light.

However, “reckless driving” is a more serious, criminal violation that people should be aware of while driving in Florida. Reckless driving can come with severe, lasting penalties.

What Is Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving can be defined as “any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” This can involve a variety of behaviors behind the wheel including:

  • Fleeing law enforcement
  • Drag racing
  • Weaving in and out of traffic at high speeds

These are just a few more specific examples of reckless driving, though the cause for arrest is not limited to these actions.

What Are The Consequences?

Reckless driving charges are serious and can be severely punished. A first-time conviction can mean up to 90 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. However, subsequent reckless driving charges can result in six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

In other, even more serious cases involving damage to property or injuries, reckless drivers can face a first degree misdemeanor which means up to a year in jail or even a first degree felony which results in up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

If you are arrested for reckless driving, it is smart to hire an experienced Florida attorney who can help you avoid or mitigate these serious consequences. Reckless driving charges can have a lasting effect on your driving record, so it is important to take the right action in the face of these charges.