D. Scott Rieth Criminal Defense Attorney
941-404-4192 888-352-3179

What constitutes reckless driving and what are the penalties?

While Florida residents will undoubtedly be keenly aware of the factors that can lead to being arrested and charged with traffic violations related to driving while intoxicated, there are other violations that a driver can commit when on the road and these can lead to harsh penalties as well. Reckless driving is one behavior that law enforcement officials are constantly on the lookout for and will not hesitate to enforce.

Understanding what the law says about reckless driving and what the accompanying penalties are is crucial when planning a defense against the allegations. If a person is operating a vehicle and disregards the safety of others or the personal property of others in a willful or wanton way, it is considered reckless driving. A driver who flees law enforcement while driving will automatically be charged with reckless driving.

The penalties for reckless driving are the following: a first conviction will result in up to 90 days in jail, a fine of between $25 and $500 or both; and a second conviction will result in up to six months in jail, a fine of $50 to $1,000 or both. If there is reckless driving and damage to property, it will be a first-degree misdemeanor. When there is serious bodily injury to another person because of the reckless driving, it will be a third-degree felony. If there is a reasonable belief that alcohol or chemicals were involved in the reckless driving incident, the person will be ordered to take part in a DUI program, along with the above-listed penalties.

Drivers might not think a reckless driving charge is a major problem, but the penalties are significant, with jail time and fines. In addition, they will likely have raised insurance rates and other punishments that go beyond the legal ramifications. Fortunately, there are strategies to defend against reckless driving allegations. Getting the right information about reckless driving and other DUI and traffic offenses can be essential to a case.

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D. Scott Rieth
9040 Town Center Parkway, Suite 103A
Bradenton, FL 34202

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