Tampa Reckless Driving Lawyer

Have You Been Arrested for Reckless Driving in Tampa?

If you or a loved one has been arrested for reckless driving in Tampa, Florida, you need the best reckless driving lawyer to protect your rights.

What is Reckless Driving?

According to Florida law, any person who drives a motor vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.

“Willful” means that the person drove recklessly intentionally, knowingly and on purpose.

“Wanton” means that the person drove with a conscious and intentional indifference to the consequences and with knowledge that damage was likely to be done to persons or property.

What is the Punishment for Reckless Driving in Tampa, Florida?

For a first reckless driving conviction, the maximum jail sentence is 90 days. For a second reckless driving conviction, the maximum jail sentence is 6 months.

If as a result of the reckless driving, the person causes damage to property or causes an injury to another person that is not serious, then the maximum jail sentence is 364 days.

If as a result of the reckless driving, the person causes a serious bodily injury to another person, then the maximum jail sentence is 5 years in Florida State Prison.

Are DUI Charges Sometimes Reduced to a Charge of Reckless Driving?

Yes. Sometimes, when a prosecutor sees a weakness in a Tampa DUI case, they may offer to reduce the DUI charge to reckless driving.

A reduction from DUI to reckless driving has advantages for the accused, but even if the driver avoids a DUI conviction, if the judge has reasonable cause to believe that the use of alcohol or drugs contributed to the charge, then the judge must require that the driver complete a DUI substance abuse education course.

Can a Reckless Driving Arrest Affect my Florida Driver's License?

Possibly. It depends on what happens in court. If the judge adjudicates you guilty of reckless driving, you will get four points on your driver's license, which depending on how many points you already have could result in the suspension of your driver's license.

Also, if the judge adjudicates you guilty of reckless driving, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will require that you complete the Basic Driver Improvement Course. If you don't complete this course as the DHSMV instructs, then your license will be canceled until you complete the course.

What are Some Defenses to the Charge of Reckless Driving?

Mechanical issues: If a person drove recklessly not on purpose but due to a mechanical problem with their car, they would not be guilty of reckless driving because they did not intentionally drive recklessly.

Necessity: If a person drove recklessly out of necessity, that can be a defense to a charge of reckless driving. For example, let's say a driver is rushing a seriously injured person to the hospital, and that any delay in transporting the injured person to the hospital could have caused that person's death. In such a case, the driver may have driven recklessly, but the law considers the necessity of getting the person to the hospital as a defense to the crime of reckless driving.

Overreaction by the Police: Sometimes, police officers overreact and charge people with reckless driving when in reality the driver may have only been guilty of speeding or careless driving. A person is guilty of careless driving when they operate a motor vehicle in a way that endangers the safety of persons and/or property. Careless driving is a civil traffic infraction. A careless driving conviction can result in a fine but not jail time.

Are You Looking for the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Tampa Florida to Represent You in a Reckless Driving Charge?

Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney David C. Hardy is a former prosecutor that now represents persons accused of reckless driving. He is Board Certified by the Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy as an Expert in Criminal Trial Law. As a prosecutor and defense attorney, he has extensive experience handling reckless driving charges.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for reckless driving in Hillsborough County Florida, Pinellas County Florida, or Pasco County Florida, contact Attorney David C. Hardy has the knowledge, skills, and experience to guide you through this process and obtain the best possible results.