There is unsafe driving, and then there is reckless driving. While even typically responsible people can be unsafe behind the wheel sometimes, fewer drivers engage in behavior that could count as reckless driving.
Under Florida law, reckless driving involves the wanton disregard of the safety of other people. Excessive speeding, fleeing from the police or racing on public roads may all lead to reckless driving allegations. What penalties could you face after an arrest for reckless driving?
What determines the penalties you could face?
State law mandates fines and possible jail time. However, factors like whether you hurt anyone as well as your record will influence the penalties involved.
A first reckless driving charge without hurting anyone or causing property damage will be a second-degree misdemeanor that could lead to 90 days in jail, six months of probation and a fine of $500. A second offense without property damage or personal injury can carry the same jail time, but the fine could be as much as $1,000.
If you hurt anyone or damage someone’s property, the offense becomes a first-degree misdemeanor that could lead to a year in jail or on probation and a fine of up to $1,000. Reckless driving that causes serious bodily injury is a third-degree felony that could mean five years in prison or on probation and a fine of up to $5,000.
There could be driving penalties as well that affect your licensing and insurance costs. Defending against a reckless driving charge and help you avoid a criminal record and driving consequences that will affect your freedom and finances.